It’s been more than a day since I called it quits on my first ever DNF half marathon. I am pleased to report my mood is no longer down in the dumps. I’ve had time to think, and reflect, and sleep … and to really, truly understand just how amazing my support group is.
A small grouping of my supporters.
From family, to close friends, to running friends, to social media acquaintances, and the blogging community, I have felt so incredibly loved over the last day and a half with phone calls, text messages, Facebook messages and emails. From my big, big brother getting me into a fit of giggles moments after the tears started with his chastising comment about how he finished his marathon the night before – 26.2 beers! – to a friend offering to punch my pancreas in the face (as long as it wouldn’t hurt me), to others telling me their stories of not finishing races, to the simple xoxo’s, to the many of you virtually kicking me in the butt for my comments of feeling ashamed.
And that’s where I am now.
Let me be clear. I do not fancy myself an elite athlete, I am far from being anything close to that, but I do have goals. Yes, I run because I enjoy it, and yes, I run because it keeps me and my diabetes healthy as can be, but I also run because I have competitive juices flowing through me that want to succeed, want to be better than the last run, want to finish upright and smiling. And whether I run for fun or anything more, quitting has never been an option.
I know. I know. Dear Diabetes got in the way. Dear Diabetes fugged my race up. There is nothing, in that moment, I could have done about the evils of Dear Diabetes. But don’t you see, when I set out on a run, I don’t view Dear Diabetes as a crutch, I don’t consider myself special, different, exceptional because of Dear Diabetes. When I’m lined up in that starting corral, yes, I am testing my blood sugars, yes, I am constantly adjusting and readjusting my insulin pump on my waistband or fuel belt, yes, I am doing the carb/depleted energy math in my head, but for me, that’s always been the normal. And until yesterday, it had never stopped me before.
Dear Diabetes does not define me.
So, while I 5,000 times agree that there are more important things in life than finishing a race, for me, in that moment, and for hours after, my heart broke because I felt I had succumbed to a diabetes weakness I never ever felt I had. And honestly, regardless of what any of you say, I did quit, yes, I quit for the right reasons, but I quit nonetheless. Tell me how many of you enjoy quitting … anything. (Well, unless it’s smoking!)
I waited at the beach yesterday for more than an hour for my Rings to pick me up. In that time, even with the tears, I was already thinking ahead to my next races, and plotting my racing, diabetes and finishing strategies. Quitting is not an option.
Thank you to every single one of you. Your kindness meant the world to me. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!