Two weeks ago, I raced and was humbled by a 50K.
Two weeks ago, I also lost my job.
Most of you already know the first part of the story; I raced hard and with intent. A podium spot was insight for most of the day that instead ended in vomit, a dramatic finish line collapse and being fed broth through a straw in bed, until I stopped throwing it right back up.
The back-story, the part where I got laid off from what was my dream job two days before the start, had been a secret to everyone but Ryan. Including my coach who knows everything to from where I drop trou on my morning runs to which of my students are doing well in my class. I couldn’t even say it out loud! Luckily, finding out on Thursday evening before leaving town on Friday to race on Saturday, meant I didn’t have to face my colleges (or friends) until the following week. So I kept my mouth shut and told a worried Ryan that I didn’t want to even talk about it until after crushed my race goals. A timely distraction.
Obviously, I didn’t crush my race goals nor was it easier to mourn the loss of my job after crossing the finish line.
I’m not writing this as an excuse for a bad race and a poor performance. I messed up my nutrition hard due to lack of practice and neglected to take care of myself. That probably would have happened anyway. Instead it’s an acknowledgement of an over-all bad week. Yes, getting passed by four women in the last ¼ mile, while I was just trying to will myself to get up from my hands and knees, FINISH LINE IN SIGHT (!!!!!!!), sucked big time. What sucks more is that I wont have my own classroom to teach in next year. In fact, loosing my job took some of the sting out of falling short of my race goals. That loss was a much bigger wound to tend to. But in the long run and big picture of my life, neither the disappointing race nor my current job matter. Until I find another job and another set of kiddos to teach, I am my own boss and my schedule is lookin’ wide open (after June 1st). I’m also hungry AF to nail my next running goal and practice my nutrition in hopes of avoiding the puke-induced mishap I experienced at Way Too Cool.
Leading up to race day, my workdays were made better by my runs and the dark, cold 5AM mornings spent training were worth it because I got to hang with 6 year olds for the rest of the day. I was initially afraid that because I wont have a job in my own classroom next year, I could no longer call myself an educator (something I expressed to Ryan when he continued to call me Mr. Teacher, an endearing nickname I thought I no longer deserved. Silly. Of course I’m still “Mr. Teacher”). But of course, I’m still an educator even though my immediate future in education is uncertain — just like I’m still a racer even though I sat at an aid station for 5 minutes even though it was just 1.4 miles away from the finish.
There are a lot of unknowns right now regarding what I’ll be doing come August. Right now, I’m considering becoming a full time Grad student and substitute teaching as my source of income. Honestly, I’m still working it through but after an appropriate period of mourning and a whole lot of reflection, I can recognize that I have options. Loosing my job is just as much of an opportunity as it was getting hired.
Congrats to all of the athletes out there at WTC 50k. I feel so stupid lucky to be surrounded by such a powerful group of women who push each other so gracefully and courteously. LOVE THIS SPORT OH YEAH
WTC 50k: 4:22(?), 7th ish place and a fun day
Special thanks to my sponsors, Salomon, RAD Boulder, GU Energy, FROST’D and Hazels Beverage World.
The shoes (Salomon Sense Ultra Soft Ground) got me to the start line and to the finish with happy feet.
The food (RAD Boulder) helps me recover DAILY with delicious allergen free, home cooked meals and gives me lunch breaks to look forward to (FYI eating their Chorizo-Sweet Potato Ragout as this is being typed. Teacher fuel)
The fuel (GU Energy) keeps me going in training and on race day. Real story, I started puking when I switched from Roctane Energy Drink to water (WHY?!)
The frosting (Frost’d) gives me an excuse to indulge my ever-present sweet tooth
And the booze (Hazels Beverage World) keeps the party going through the good times and the bad times.
ALSO THANKS TO COACH DAVID ROCHE for stoking the fire when necessary, cooling it off when it burns too hot and not judging me by the absurd amount of times I have to duck in the woods mid-run. PROUD TO SWAP