How Kara Goucher Saves My Brain

Kara Goucher announced that she’ll not be running the NYC Marathon this time around. This makes me feel so much better about some of the choices I’ve made in my (lack of) racing.

Kara is a world class athlete, has trainers and coaches and contracts. If she can sit out of a big race, a race that she’s dreamed about, so can I. I didn’t sign up for MCM this year. After DNFing three times, I just couldn’t justify it. I’ve finished other marathons, other races, but MCM is my …Waterloo? Everest? Bain of my Running Existence? It’s my Wonderland that’s through the sweaty Looking Glass of failure vs victory.

I’ve got a coach now, instead of following the cookie cutter programs from magazines. I’m actually training, like on purpose and with focus. And I’m not training for MCM…I’m training to be a strong athlete. I’m not signing up for every race I see, I’m not signing up for something and then praying I can finish before the water stations are gone.

MCM will happen. And it will happen when I’m ready to beat it on Registration Day. I won’t bang my head against the wall any more, telling myself that I’ll actually “really do it this time”, like some marathon junkie who can’t quite stick the needle in. I won’t waste my emotions or thoughts on panic. I’m focusing on fit and strong and I won’t leave room for the “I can’t” worms.

So, Kara Goucher, wherever you are, thank you. Thank you for being sane, and fit, and a mom, and an athlete. Thank you for giving me someone to root for and someone to aim for.

Thanks for saving my brain.

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3 thoughts on “How Kara Goucher Saves My Brain

  1. Great post, great topic, and great timing for me. I’m feeling remorse about a race for which I registered, but will not run tomorrow for a variety of reasons. The fact that they are Very Good Reasons makes no difference … always feel slightly ashamed, as if only a coma would be an acceptable excuse. This made me feel a little better!

    1. I’m glad it helped. 🙂 I’ve sat out of lots of races, some really expensive ones for Not So Good Reasons and I’ve dropped out of other races for Good Reasons and it never feels good. Never feels like the right thing to do. …quitting sucks, there’s no way around it. As runners, we often define ourselves by our mileage or the t-shirts we earn…it’s so dangerous to live in that mindset. I try hard to think like an Athlete instead of a Runner, but sometimes I think like a Spoiled Brat Runner Chick who thinks Logic and Sense are just Poopy Face Reasons. 😉 …sigh… Where’s my contract, Bill Bowerman?? 😛

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