I ran the Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday. A 26.2 mile grueling course of small hills, twists, and turns with 30,000 people through our nation’s capital. It was the longest and largest race I have ever attempted and, I finished… which was honestly my goal. I trained for months, rehabbed injuries, and spent a small fortune to make this happen. I should be elated, but I’m not. It’s Thursday afternoon the week after the race and I’m fucking sad. I felt it around mile 22 creeping in..”you suck”…”it’s taking you well over 6 hours to finish this”. My headphones had died about 5 hours in so I had the squeak of the prescription insole in the left shoe and my thoughts. Not the best combo at this stage. And again “this is embarrassing”…”you are embarrassing”…”Kevin is going to feel sorry and embarrassed by you”. My husband had also run the race and had finished in a speedy sub 5 and was waiting on me at the finish, texting me encouraging things that kept showing up on my Garmin watch face. The feeling grew stronger as I got closer to the finish line and nobody was running, they were all walking… as if defeated..dead. I was still running as I could and it garnered the strangest looks from them as if to say “why are you wasting your time? We’re almost there and still get the medal, relax”.
Over the next day I didn’t have any appetite. This is a normal thing for me when I’m anxious or upset, though I attribute some of this to possible germs from high fiving dozens of people on the course. By Tuesday I knew I was not in a great frame of mind when I realized I wasn’t sleeping well…after having put my body through the stress of a marathon. Thoughts persisted of being a fraud as my profession is helping others become healthy and do things like learn to run. How am I in any way qualified to do this if I can’t even finish a marathon in a normal timeframe? I have this education, this knowledge…I’m an exercise physiologist and I am FAT. I can’t make myself a fast runner. I AM A FRAUD. I have let all of these people down.
Thursday and I have a hair appointment I don’t want to go to. It’s raining. I still feel terribly nauseated and have no appetite. I can’t decide if I have a stomach bug or if I’m just depressed. My friend Justine saved a live on Instagram that I watched while drinking my coffee and she talked about her childhood, the trauma, the disorder and the chaos. I cried and sobbed because I related to that so much. I thought more and yes, obsessed about the fucking marathon. This time cross referencing it with some things I had just flashed about from growing up and realized that everything I attempt will always be a disappointment.
All I wanted to do was call my mother or sisters (my father died in 2004) and tell them I just ran a marathon, thats huge! But I can’t do that. I don’t have contact with my mother and I only really text with one of my sisters. It’s been years since I’ve had contact with them and many therapists have said that’s the healthiest option. And let’s be honest, even if I did, it wouldn’t be good enough. I would be a failure, which is where this mindset came from, why I feel this way. Why I am so driven. Why i graduated from high school two years early. Because someone I loved and trusted told me I couldn’t, and I didn’t have the ability. Because I became a fighter and a fucking hustler from a young age because nobody was looking out for me really.
I’m very hard on myself even to this day because of what I went through growing up. I could run a sub 2 hour marathon (that would be world record) and it still wouldn’t be good enough and I could find somewhere I could improve. My biggest fear though, and what causes me not to sleep, is disappointing my husband, kids, and friends. Let me clarify the meaning of friends. Friends are the real life ones, but also the social media ones that send me amazing messages of encouragement, that trust me enough to write their programming, that show me their pictures of their kiddos, that share their struggles with me in DM’s. Those are the people I was upset about letting down. So there you have it, I ran a marathon. I’m an athlete and a plus size female, an exercise physiologist and I’m just fucking sad, and thats the truth.