NaBloPoMo Running

Race Recap: The Pittsburgh EQT 10 Miler That Wasn’t

My mom took this picture at 6:00 AM, right before we left the house to get to the West End Circle when it closed at 7:00 AM.

The Race That Wasn't

We left the house in plenty of time, got delayed by some deer who felt that they owned the road, and hit the West End Circle Exit at 6:59 AM EST.

And the exit was closed.

As was every entrance to get us anywhere close to the race area. We drove around for an hour. One police officer told us she had no idea how to tell us where to go and that we should have gotten there earlier. We followed a steady stream of cars like us, stuck in the same same eight block loop of nothingness. I don’t know if those care ever raced their race destination.

But by the time we left the city, the race was starting and the runners were heading up the hill into the West End Circle.

I cried, and I cried hard.

First of all, to get lost in a city that used to be yours, that used to be your stomping ground, that used to belong to you, is a punch to the gut. That was my city, my place. And now I don’t know it like I used to, and I got us lost more than a bunch of times. I felt embarrassed and heart-broken.

Secondly, if you know me, I deal with my anxiety and depression with running. To be denied that run on a day that I needed it most felt like a personal affront, a huge failure, a foreshadowing of things to come. Some people suggested that I should just spend time with family instead, except that I’m an introvert. I’d been spending time with the family all week and I needed 10 miles to let my thoughts sort themselves out, to let the grief make sense, to let the building anxiety release.

And then, to top it all off, I let my husband down. I just wanted to run in my favorite city, my hometown, with him.

I am heartbroken, and quite honestly, I’m allowed to be right now. The losses of my grandmothers, the losses of my only release, the loss of knowing left from right and up from down in my own city all sting more than a hornet on a hot summer run.

I went and ran 3.29 miles with tears streaming down my face once we got back to The Farm.

The Run I Took Anyway, Not That It Mattered

Everything feels a mess. Maybe I’ll run it next year. Maybe I’ll just quit.


18 replies on “Race Recap: The Pittsburgh EQT 10 Miler That Wasn’t”

I love all of this. One of my biggest fears is missing a race and I’m pretty sure I would have spent the entire day crying and hating the world. I think you acted appropriately. Thank you for finally writing this.

next year run it. own it.

(wish i would have known you were struggling in the west end clusterfuck. i live in the west end and would have happily had you park at my place so i could chauffeur you both to and from the race or at least possibly assisted with suggestions as to how to get where you want to be when so many road closures happen. i am so sorry that you were stuck in that mess. please know that you aren’t a failure. on a good day most people have trouble with that mess!)

So sorry that happened. Three years ago I got strep and couldn’t run the half in my hometown that I trained for. Race morning I woke up and sobbed because I had a 103 temp and just couldn’t do it. It was a bad time for me because I felt like I failed, I so relate to your feelings. But don’t give up. Feel the pain, let it out and then lace up those shoes. You learn a lot about yourself whether you run the race or not.

I totally get you. Missing races, for any reason – illness, scheduling conflicts, not being able to drive to the start line – sucks. I had seven months to adjust to the knowledge that I was going to miss Twin Cities and it still sucked. It hurts. Some people will understand (usually other runners) and others won’t.

But failure? Hardly. And I know you won’t quit. How else are we going to run a marathon together one day? You’ve been through a ton lately. Don’t forget that. Love you, Jenna.

I can’t say I know the pain, but I can feel it through your words and understand why it feels like such a failure. Be easy on yourself, but keep on running. Don’t give up, we are all pulling for you.

So glad to see you writing this out. I was thinking about you all day yesterday, after seeing your post. You have been hurting big time, and please allow yourself to receive grace in a time of incredible hardship. I am so glad you laced up yesterday. Do it and do it again and come back next year if you want or don’t. This is still your city, it will always be your city, whether you need a map or not. I know that feeling of gaining distance from good times, good memories, a life before a life, and it is sad. But it doesn’t mean anything. I believe it’s loving Pittsburgh makes you a ‘burgher, and you’ll never need a map for that. Just like loving Colorado makes it MY soul’s home on earth, no matter where my body takes me.

You have every right to feel heartbroken, sad, depressed, disappointed, and anything else that bubbles to the top through this difficult time. Give validity to your feelings, do whatever you need to do to heal, but don’t quit.

You’ve been one of my inspirations for running. Like you, running is a way for me to process and deal with my emotions and my stress, so I understand (on some small level) the frustration of missing the race. I was heartbroken for you when I saw that you’d missed it.

I would totally hand you my Hot Chocolate 5K bib for Sunday if you need a race. I can’t run it due to being sidelined for 3 more weeks with tendonitis. Or come run the 15K and I’ll make you a sign and the kids and I will cheer for you! :)

I just stumbled on your blog today…I am so so SORRY that this happened to you guys. Horrible. You have every right to be so sad and upset..please whatever you do, don’t quit. Sign up for the half, and don’t stop running. xo

Oh hon, I’m so sorry for your loss and disappoint. For the feeling of inadequacy, heartbreak, and failure. I have been there many times in the past few months. thank you for sharing your own story and don’t quit.

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