Last Sunday was supposed to be the day I ran my second goal race of the year: Budapest Marathon. But as I mentioned in the weeks coming up to the event, it wasn’t looking likely that I would compete. So what actually happened in the end?
I didn’t run a marathon.
But I did run something relatively close.
The Budapest Marathon weekend offered three events: Marathon, 30k, and 10k. This weekend I chose to run the 30k. So let’s talk about that. From about two weeks out it was overwhelmingly clear that, bar a small miracle, I would not be able to run 26.2 miles. But I decided to try to remain strong; not have a minor breakdown, etc. etc. I made my peace with running the 10k, and detached myself emotionally from the marathon as a goal.
However during the two hour flight to Budapest I had time to do some real reflection and journaling on where I was at with all the nerves and frustrations I knew I would feel as the weekend rolled on. I knew it would be tough watching all my fantastic City Athletics friends do the race I so badly wanted to compete in, and to feel all that training go to waste. The thing was, my calf didn’t even feel too bad. And so by the time we landed I had a plan; to go for a gentle jog- 1 to 3 miles at 10 min/mile pace- to evaluate the situation. It was a bit of a tight turnaround, since we had to go pick up our race packs pretty soon.
So almost as soon as we’d got to our Air Bnb, I changed into my running kit and took to the streets of Budapest for the first run in weeks. It was wonderful; whether that be from the gorgeous weather, being in a new city, or just running for the first time in weeks. Budapest was looking dreamy, and we were right by Heroes Square. The run felt a little awkward at first, but I certainly didn’t feel all locked up in my muscles and joints, and the pain was actually pretty minimal as long as I kept a moderate pace. One mile turned into three, and before I knew it I got a text telling me we needed to head out to the expo, so I headed back to the flat.
Just like that, the decision was made; I would run the 30k. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t a whole barrel of laughs; no run of that distance ever is! But I managed to do something I’d thought almost impossible in the weeks leading up to the trip. City Athletics were on top form, and I got a gorgeous tour of Budapest by foot, even if I didn’t appreciate it at the time!
I didn’t compete in my goal race. But I still did do something rather special this weekend. The whole event went better than could have been expected, and I truly feel a great sense of accomplishment, perhaps more so because it involved a massive reevaluation of my expectations.
Full race report to come soon!
How was your weekend? Did you race?
Lots of love,