Last night, I received a rather puzzling email. I felt that the best way to reply would be on my blog, in the hopes that it would help others who have expectations about their first Full Marathon.
The email said (name removed)
"Hi Charlene, I saw that you ran the LA Marathon. You finished in a rather slow time for someone who runs so fast, despite your age. Your teammate did Boston Qualify on his first Marathon, but you didn't. Do you feel you failed at your first Marathon since you have been often successful in your other race distances?"
I am sure you can imagine I was a little taken back by this email. I am going to give the person the benefit of the doubt and he/she didn't realize how they came across (that happens in emails).
I will be happy to answer these questions
1. Slow? I finished above the middle of the pack of the racers. Over 9K finished after me. I know experienced racers, who finished slower than me. However, if you go back to all my blog posts pre-LA, you would see I never focused on my finish time. It was about the experience and getting to the Finish. I had HOPED to finish in a sub5 (which I did) but I refused to kill myself in the process to achieve that goal on my first Marathon.
2. Yes, I have won several awards in various distances. A racer cannot expect nor compare their performance to a 5K or even a Half to what they can achieve in a Full Marathon. Because I was not standing on that podium at the end of the LA Marathon certainly does not make me a failure in that distance.
3. BQ'ing on your first Marathon is tough. Most don't achieve that goal, even in their lifetime. My time will come but the LA Full (for me) - was about my experience, period. The clock was not a barometer of my achievement of that day.
To all of those who crossed that Finish Line - I applaud you. I saw your struggles, I saw your cramps, your hurt backs and shared in your tears at the end. I am one of you and I couldn't be prouder. From the sub3 Finishers to the 7 hour Finishers. We are LA Marathoners, and no one can ever take that away from us.
(c) C. Ragsdale 2011-12
Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
Running Coach, Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
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