So it was my slowest ever race but my hardest one physically and mentally.
What was positive is that...
I ran a my hardest effort ever in a marathon!
What I tell my athletes is that the body only knows effort and not pace.
When my thyroid is off particularity when I am hyperthyroid - my body is working so much harder because more thyroid hormone is floating in the blood stream. You would think like that would be a good thing. In fact, it is not at all. For 2 reasons, the increased thyroid hormone is elevating my heart rate which makes the running a 10 minute mile feel like 7 a minute mile effort. Essentially, I have to run a 10 minute mile which for my body feels like a 7 minute mile. Secondly, the extra thyroid hormone raises my normal body temperature from 98.6 to 98.8+ which may not seem like much but the slight .1 percents are significant to the body. I feel hotter and the body has to work harder to cool itself.
So even though the pace is not reflective of the effort I ran my body certainly felt the effort. I feel like I got hit by a bus the day after so I know the effort was there!
I stayed positive through the race! Yes, I had a moment or two in my head where I had a pity party and a couple tears rolled but I quickly worked to look for the good, I smiled lots, I cheered fellow runners (out and back course) and I helped other runners that were struggling. My motto is that if it is not going to be my day I am going to help another in anyway I can to hopefully help it be their day. Getting out your own head is really important in moments like this.
In the 2 other circumstances that I toed the line of a marathon in this type of condition, they both ended in DNF's between mile 17-19. I was definitely in a whole lots of hurt at miles 17 to 19 and so badly wanted to walk off the course but I had promised my daughter I would finish this thing so I started looking for ways to get it done. Lots prayer and than 2 angels (runners) start talking to me around mile 17 when I wanted to quit.
They were college girls running their first marathon. I started running with them and they by my side I was able to keep going. After some conversation, I found out they go Western Michigan and that was my alma mater. We talked about the campus and what was still there after uhmh 19 years :-) This conversation was so needed as we were all struggling a bit and around 20 miles they wanted to start taking walk breaks. I was not about to leave them and had no desire to run this thing in alone after they saved me during my hardest miles. So I stuck by their side when they were hitting the wall. I coaxed them to keep going, keep moving, I gave them my gels, made sure they were getting plenty of fluids at the aid stations, encourage them, broke the last 6 miles into segments so they could manage them mentally, distracted them with chatting about life, we took walk breaks, we danced under sprinkles, screamed loudly we've got this and we finished the race side by side with our arms raised.
Not all races will you be given the best conditions, the best state of health but you can show up and be your best self!
I am proud to say that my best self showed up to run my hardest effort.
I pulled from my deepest resources to finish this race.
And for that I couldn't be more proud of myself and able to share this "never give up" journey with my children.
Life is always unfolding perfectly even in our most challenging moments ~