I had been keeping up with the four hour pace group for almost the entire race. By the half-way point in the race, the miles began to take their toll, but I persisted and pushed myself to maintain the pace. Around mile 20, I started to fall to back of the pack and was having trouble keeping up with the group. My physical stamina was in bad shape and my mental composure was beginning to slip. At mile 23 I hit a serious wall and my body was overheating. 3.2 miles from the finish, I had a decision to make. I could force my body to keep pace with the four hour group, pushing myself past my breaking point. Alternatively, I could intentionally slow down, lessen the risk of any serious bodily harm and ensure that I would finish and have a smooth recovery.
I chose the latter option. I recognized that at some point it becomes about finishing the race in the right way. I know that I could have dug deep, put mind over matter and finished the race in less than four hours. I also know that I would have beat myself into oblivion to make it happen. I chose to care for myself in a way that ensured I was able to complete the task in a condition that will allow me to run the race again.
Success is knowing what is most important for yourself, meeting those expectations and recognizing that you need only answer to yourself. This is a lesson for runners, coaches and social entrepreneurs alike. I extend my warmest gratitude to all of those who supported me with resources, kind words, and strong cheers to achieve a successful Marathon to benefit PresenTense.