In January, I filmed this video
on a cold day at the track, where I was at the start of my comeback training, working hard to return to racing after an 8-year gap. On April 9th, I honored my commitment and finished the Zurich Marathon.
I’ve run lots of marathons over the years, starting with my first in 1996. I pref trail ultras to road marathons, but I grabbed on to this road race as a target to fire up my winter training and as a milestone re-entry event.
Race day was a HOT (very unusual for early April in Zurich). I went out at the optimistic end of my speed for this comeback year and managed to hang on to a quick pace for 30KM before the wheels came off and the battle with muscle cramps began.
When I stretched my quads, my hamstrings would cramp…when I stretched my hams, my quads would lock. This awkward ballet of walk-run-cramp-stetch-crumble to the ground is funny in hindsight, but a gut punch in the moment. I never would have thought to carry salt tabs on an April race in Switzerland. Lesson learned!
I made it to the finish nearly 90 minutes slower than my personal best, but happy to finish this comeback milestone and have a fun day in the sun.
During the race, especially after the real struggle began, I thought about the “7 Ways..” article above and the author’s guidance that people often give up because “they want the outcome more than they want to obtain a skill.”
With 12KM to go, my temptation was to obsess about crossing the finish line, but I reframed it and instead focused intensely on those frustrating moments of challenge – as experiencing and enduring those moments are what we learn and grow from – not the easy moment of receiving a race medal. Remember that the next time you’re in the middle of a tough moment – embrace it for all the lessons you can draw from it, and keep on going!