I spent this past week in Canada for work, which meant to cell phone use and really no Internet unless there was free wifi. It gave me a lot of time to reflect on the year. I really hadn't had much time to think about it on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday since I had to hurry home, work, and pack for my work week in Canada.
It hit me pretty hard after reading an email Ryan sent to his grandma about my race:
"Race day was on Sunday. It didn't go well at all for Jacqui. She ran the Milwaukee marathon in October and had some hamstring problems but still finished 2nd overall. When she finished, she went to the physical therapist and he said there is most likely a small tear in the in muscle. Jacqui kept training and thought it was ok, but still could feel the pain every now and then. So during the race, I saw her at the 10 mile mark and she wasn't feeling very good. I told her to stop if she thinks there could be serious injury. She kept running until I saw her at the half way mark (13 miles). She stopped there and was very upset and crying. It was really sad. She had worked extremely hard for that day and it just didn't work out. I've never seen someone so dedicated for such a long time to achieve there goal..only to come up short. Jacqui was waking up at 3am on her travel days for work so that she could go outside and run. On weekends, she would get up and go run anywhere form 16-20 miles. It was A LOT of work. So just in that, it is something to be proud of. So overall, her race ended at the half way mark and she did not finish. "
This sounds pretty silly, but I didn't even think of the hard work I put in to get to this point. In my mind, I was just following my training plan set for me by Coach Cari. I'm the kind of person that if you write a plan, I stick to it. If you tell me it's going to work, I believe you. I had total faith in Cari's plan so followed it to a T. Waking up at 3am to get my run or workout in before my 6am flight never once seemed like a big deal to me. So when I got Ryan's email (he copied me on his response to an email his grandma had sent, asking how the race went since we were discussing California at Thanksgiving), I just broke down. I'm so extremely lucky to have the friends and family that I do in my life that are proud of my accomplishments, despite falling very short of the end goal.
Some of my running friends even reached out to plan with me on training for 2016, which I am GOING to qualify for. I think what I learned from this whole year is just how much fitness you can truly gain. I shaved 40seconds off of my 5k time and over 2 minutes off of both my 1/2 and full marathon times. IN ONE YEAR. I think that CIM would have definitely gone in my favor had I had two years under my belt. That being said, duathlons are my main focus this year (yay!), so I plan on really focusing on the bike, maintaining the run, and doing a lot of "prehab" with the hamstring.
Thank you, friends and family, for the incredible support you've given me...not just throughout this training year cycle, but after the race as well. I never would have gotten through this week without you. Time to go train...:)