Here I am, a week later, and I’ve asked myself a gazillion times “Did I do the right thing?” There is no right or wrong answer to that question; I simply did what felt right at the time.
My biggest problem in Boston was I wasn’t mentally prepared to slow down the pace. On Sunday night, Dave and I talked about running a 9 minute mile but when I realized that would mean running an extra half hour, I said, “That’s too long. I don’t want to do that.” I was in Boston for a decent marathon, not just for the experience, but the pace that the heat dictated was not going to give me that.
Looking back, I realize that had I not been pushed, I wouldn’t have taken the time to head into the porta-potty and realize that I was quickly getting dehydrated. I’ve always believed that things happen for a reason; perhaps that fall kept me from ending up in far worse shape down the road. Perhaps I did err, but I erred on the side of caution; that’s my age coming through.
Two things really bothered me once I finally got to the finish area. First, the hotrods – the reds from Wave 1 – were just coming in when I got there. I was mad at myself because they were stronger than I was; they were able to finish. Secondly, I worried about facing my classes – 56 grade 6 students – and having them think that their teacher was a quitter. On Tuesday, I took time to talk to them about the run and why I stopped; I explained that it wasn’t worth the risk of getting sick or beating up my body on a slow marathon. They seemed to understand.
On a daily basis, at home and at school, I teach my sons and students the importance of respect. Pulling out at 13K was about that – respecting the marathon distance, the heat, and my age. Some days, like Monday, it would be so much easier if I just didn’t care.