When the exciting becomes the expected

I recently ran the Rock N Roll Half Marathon in San Jose.  Rock N Roll events are always well run, always fun.  Yet, for me, this experience was totally ho-hum, anticlimactic.

I have realized that what used to be exciting is now just expected.  I don’t want to say that what used to be hard is now easy, because that isn’t true.  Long runs are hard no matter how many you’ve done.  But when I ran this same race last year I was thrilled.  The Expo was great. The music was great.  At 1:45, my time was great (a PR).  The cool and colorful medal was totally great!

This year, I kept forgetting I was running it at all. Even the day before, wherein I ran 21 miles at some very dark early hour, I kept thinking how nice it would be to sleep in on Sunday.  I kept having to remind myself that I was running a half marathon!  “Don’t forget to get up!”

This may have happened because I haven’t gone a weekend without running at least a half marathon distance since last December, give or take a week or so here and there.  I am two weeks from the Silicon Valley Marathon, and Rock N Roll was just another stop along my disciplined training regime.

The weird thing is, although I am excited to run SV because I like the race, my attitude is a little ho-hum.  Maybe it’s because I blew it at the San Diego Marathon in June and never mentally recovered.  Maybe it’s because I have come to love trail running and I just want to get this road race out of the way so I can reclaim the dirt.  Maybe it’s because I really am chomping at the bit to start Ultra training in December.

Whatever the reason, the exciting has almost become the expected.  I expect to complete my sixth 26.2 on October 26th.  I expect to wonder why I am doing it at all come mile 18.  I expect it to hurt a lot come mile 20.  I expect to want to stop at mile 22 and 23 and 24.  I expect I will run a better race if I can stick with my partner. I expect my eyes to well up when I cross the finish line.  Come to think of it, I expect when I cross that finish line I will be very astonished that I did it again.  And what if I manage to do it faster than ever before? Now that would be exciting.

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