On Friday night, Neal, Anna, Colin and I headed to Myrtle Vegas for the 13th Annual Bi-Lo Myrtle Beach Marathon. Colin was ready for the full marathon, I was ready for the half (both on Saturday) and Anna was ready for a 33-mile bike trek on Sunday. We went to the expo to pick up the schwag (which was sweet this year) - thermos, technical shirt, technical hat and a drawstring bag. We shopped for gear and Gu. Anna and Colin headed to their hotel on the oceanfront. We checked into ours. We carbo loaded. We watched some of the opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics. We watched the snow start to fall.
We felt our hopes fall with it.
Okay, that's a little dramatic. But, when the snow started falling (sideways and sticking to everything I might add) an announcement was released for a delay. Okay, we thought. It'll be a little dicey...a little icy. We may not make our goals (I was aiming for a sub-two-hour half and Colin was aiming for a sub-three-hour full). Our feet might get wet. The wind is going to be in our face for the last nine miles. That's cool. We're hard-core.
Around 10:30pm they released another announcement. We watched the ticker scroll the words: City officials have cancelled the race. Nooooooooo! I've never been so bummed about NOT running 13.1 miles.
I've been looking forward to this race......(and to make it more dramatic).....I'll say for THREE years. I first got the bug for it in 2008. Amy, Kathryn and I trekked down on Friday night for the 5K race around Broadway at the Beach. We all achieved personal bests in the run, we went out to dinner afterwards, spent the night on the oceanfront and did a half marathon of shopping the next day. On Saturday morning, I woke up and went outside to watch the runners. It was exciting. There were tons of people streaming down Ocean Boulevard and quite a few spectators along the street, too. It looked fast and flat and fun! In 2009, the race sold out before I registered. This year, I was determined. I registered in August. I joined the tri club. I trained for it....mentally and physically.
I was ready. Myrtle Vegas was not.
On Saturday morning, we slept in later than planned. We went out in the snow. Neal suggested pancakes. Colin decided to do a long run anyway and we picked up Anna to head for the Pan American House of Breakfast. I was feeling okay until we hit the main drag. There were runners. Lots of them.
I felt left out. I actually felt guilty. I did NOT feel hard-core. The shoulda's started to drag me down: I shoulda run it anyway. I shoulda had Anna and Neal set up water stops for me. I shoulda run part of it. I shoulda protested at the start line! Or the finish line! Here I am running with my race number on with a belly full of pancakes:
I cried off and on for the rest of the day and couldn't seem to shake the disappointment for the longest time. I whined about it. I huffed about it. I felt like a two-year-old.
A wise man once said: maturity is marked by gratitude and stability. So, I started thinking of all the things that I was thankful for: my feet were not cold and wet and blistered, the wind was not in my face for nine miles, I did not have to run 13.1 miles, I got to eat pancakes, I could go home early and play in the snow with Sugar, I could go home early and pick up Parker from Dad & Joyce's, I was not going to be sore for three days, etc. Eventually, I felt like I was handling it like an adult. Plus, I'm still adding to my list. AND, I'm ready for next year!
There three great wins out of the weekend. Colin ended up running 26.2 in 2:58:02 -- his best time EVER! There were even volunteers at the finish line and he received a medal!!! Anna competed in her bike ride and finished in under 2.5 hours!
My win was my take-away: In triathlons, marathons and even in NASCAR, there is a dreaded designation at the bottom of every results list: DNF. Did Not Finish. I know that there is something much, much worse. DNS. Did Not Start. Get out there and start something. Even if you don't think you can. Even if it's just for part. Even if you're not supposed to. Even if there is no one to watch. Even if it doesn't officially count. Start.
"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start." - John "The Penguin" Bingham
South Carolina Snow:
Also. check this out. Exactly what I was thinking.