Fancy Framework

I struggled with what to write about running my 9th marathon yesterday for about the last 24 hours.  Prior to the race, I had a lot of ideas, but they all relied on the outcome being a bit different.

I was certain after training this winter that I was ready for a great race.  I had a solid plan and I stuck to it to prepare to reach a goal. Other than some phantom pains the week before the race, I held together in one piece over the last 4 months and felt good.  I’d even done some work on improving my mental approach to running and racing.  I studied up on some techniques to keep focused and confident.  I practiced them in my training so I would be ready to use them come race day.

One technique I learned was reframing.  A frame is a structure that gives shape or support.  How I frame an event, like a run or a race, will affect how I view the event and respond to it.  It’s not easy.  But when done well, it can help make the event a constructive experience.  So I’ve chosen to reframe the results of my 9th marathon to make me a better runner (and person).

My finishing time at the Long Island Marathon was 3:58:34.  Although this was a bit slower than I had trained for, here’s how I will instead frame this race:

  • This was my first sub-4:00 marathon since 2008 and 2 minutes faster than my last marathon last April.
  • Several times I rebounded from and “off” mile or miles, including finishing the last 2 miles faster than any between 19-24.
  • Miles 19-24 really were rough, but now I know where I need to prepare most for next time (yes, next time).
  • I stayed healthy throughout my training and other than some general soreness and grossly large blister on my pinky toe, seem to be healthy post-race as well.
  • I am incredibly fortunate to have amazing parents who stood outside for 4 hours to see me run by 4 times.  To be fair, they did stop for pancakes while I was running miles 13-20, but cheering does work up an appetite. 

Like I said, it’s not easy, and several times I’ve caught myself wishing I’d done this or that differently.  But it’s a lot better to work to believe these points than be disappointed in myself for running a marathon. 

Me, post-race.  Happy to be sitting down.

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