1. Denial: Oh well, who cares? It's just a hobby. (Immediately post-bad-race, I'm always happy.)
2. Self-loathing: I suck, I shouldn't have even raced. If I wasn't me, I'd be embarrassed for me. (Usually later that day, looking at results online.)
3. Discouragement: I'm not racing again until I'm fit. The Hapalua and Boston are out.
4. Self-Pity: I'll never be fast again.
5. Motivation: I'm going to train like an absolute crazy person until I'm fast again.
Immediately following the race, I didn't give a rat's ass that I had sucked it up out there. But by Monday night, I was annoyed at myself, so I went out and ran another 8 to make up for the crappy 8 miles I raced in the morning. On Tuesday, I ran 10 on tired legs, because losers don't get to be lazy, then on Wednesday, Todd, Noa, and Brigitte dragged my sorry butt up Tantalus after work. It was brutal climbing the mountain on exhausted legs, and I fell back, then caught up again, here and there. Sometimes I couldn't even talk! (I think Noa was relieved in those moments.)
Somewhere in there (during Discouragement) I realized I'd failed to sign up for the Hapalua Half Marathon Chase in two weeks. I also pieced together that it's looking unlikely that the other mothers (KN & Brigitte) are going to be joining me in Boston, for a myriad of reasons. And I decided that I'm not running again until I'm fit. I wasn't going to bother racing either. What's the point? I've run Boston before. I'm not fit to PR, and won't be by April 15. Running 26 miles un-fit isn't fun. I've run a 3:12 marathon like 6 times, I don't really want to run until I'm chasing a new PR. I don't even know what goal is next. 2:55? Finish in time to shower and make it to the Sox game by the 2nd inning?
Brigitte was supportive when I asked her advice: If you aren't feeling it, don't do it. Any of it. I liked that response. Then I got an email from Saucony. I'd kind of forgotten that I'd applied for sponsorship this year, until I got the email with the subject line: Congratulations!
And well, Saucony was my first sponsor, back in 2006. I ran Boston that year. Saucony is based in Boston. It was only my second marathon, and I had no idea what to expect. I crossed the line in 3:04, dazed and lightheaded and ecstatic, and stumbled directly into the bar that Saucony had rented out for a finish-line party. There were stairs, so I just sat for a while on the bottom one. A long while. My parents and one of my brothers were waiting at the top of those 14 stairs and had no idea I was done. But those stairs were insurmountable. Then someone in a red t-shirt came down the stairs and yelled, HEY! We have our first finisher, and people brought me a sweatshirt and water and helped me up to the party.
How can I not do that again? Just because I sucked at the Great Aloha Run? Who cares (I'm back to 1)?
So, it's on. I'm racing this weekend (10k), next weekend (10k), the next weekend (13.1 m), and well, maybe I'll just try to race myself to fitness. A 10k tomorrow after 800s today is unlikely to be fun. But it'll help get me there.
One last note about the GAR. You know how HK doesn't even like running and racing and it's awful and why are we doing this? Yeah, check out his finish photo:
He's clearly having a terrible time.
It's much better than his finish pic circa 2010:
HK, me, and Stacky post-GAR this year.
(Oh, photos courtesy (or not) of marathonfoto, in case you didn't see it written all over them)