I can’t wait to write and tell you all about Chelsea and Colleen and how life-changing it was to watch them complete their 100 miles. But I don’t want to taint my admiration for them with my whining so today? YOU JUST GET MY WHINING! Feel free to just skip this entry and come back tomorrow to read about my fierce friends.
I didn’t get 100 miles.
It’s a weird thing though, because I got in 80 and that’s 12 more than I’ve ever done before so I’m super proud of that. But – I didn’t get my 100 and I’m profoundly embarrassed and disappointed. So disappointed I wouldn’t even let myself get the participation trophy because almost everyone else at that race got 100 miles, some got 200, I couldn’t not even bring myself to get a trophy for 80. This photo is a good visual as to why it was hard for me to get my trophy. I checked the screen after every mile towards the end to make sure it was counting and I crossed that time with the two guys who ended up setting a record with 210 miles each.
They started 3 hours ahead of me because they were 51 but had done 120 more. WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FUCK?
But I am proud. I really am.
It’s just a really weird duality. I have to keep reminding myself that I’m proud. And I really am. I mustered up the power to run a little bit of the final 3 miles and I was really proud of that considering how nauseated I was and how blistered my feet were, but the goal I had settled on was 80 miles and when I finally got across the finish line at 80, I was reminding myself to be proud as I turned in my ankle bracelet and another runner ran past and said, “You still have time for more!”
And I lost it. I started sobbing like I have never sobbed before. But, I was trying to do it quietly and discreetly because I was so embarrassed and ashamed. There were 70-year old women who ran more than 100 miles, my two friends knocked out 100 in beautiful and magnificent shows of strength, and here I was crying at 80. I felt so stupid and pitiful. And I was trying to be proud, BECAUSE I WAS, I REALLY WAS, but I was also so embarrassed and disappointed and ashamed and let me just tell you: THAT IS A LOT TO BE FEELING ON MINIMAL SLEEP, AN UPSET STOMACH, AND BLISTERED FEET.
I could not stop crying behind my sunglasses. Luckily, Nikki had started packing up our camping stuff (she gets a whole entry to herself too, you all are going to DIE when you hear about how amazing she was as my crew) so I was able to help a little to hide my crying because I just could not stop. I had worked so hard to try to feel pride in my 80 miles and then to have someone point out I could have done 2 more, and she was right but OH MY GOD I DID NOT WANT TO. So – I had just grasped on to a small thread of pride, then to have shame rip it out of my hands again.
80 miles is a lot. But everyone around me pushed past more to get more miles and it’s going to take me a long time to unpack all of those feelings. I’m proud I pushed it to 80, I wanted to stop at 70. Hell, I wanted to stop at 62 when I finally realized I couldn’t keep up with Chelsea anymore. My heart broke in those miles and so I definitely am proud of myself for pushing past that and the physical ailments to get to 80.
But f*ck y’all, as I was typing that sentence I was EQUALLY feeling shame because I SHOULD NOT BE PROUD. I FAILED.
It’s a battle in my heart that will wage for several days, I’m sure. Maybe longer. I’m certain pride wins out in the end, I’ve never been one to regret or linger on failures. I’ve had too many in my life to start lingering on them now. And the part of me that is proud of the 80 miles (especially considering how shitty my training was) is stubborn and will keep talking the shame and disappointment down until hopefully it stops popping up entirely.
But for now – I feel both very clearly. Pride an Disappointment. Pride and Shame. Pride and a shit ton of pain because everything hurts.