I didn’t go on a lot about what happened with the 2018 Vancouver Marathon, which I had to DNF at around 5K due to heat exhaustion.
There was a lot going on in my personal life right when that race occurred, which undoubtedly impacted my health leading up to the race.
My work situation had been stable until about a month before the race (for various reasons, mostly beyond my control), to the point where I decided to resign shortly after I returned from Vancouver due to how bad the situation had gotten. It felt like, and still feels like, exactly the right decision. My working life even without the full-time salaried stability got a lot better since (EDIT: And I’ve since been hired on full time in a new career that’s much better in too many ways).
However, the fallout and buildup of this caused a lot of stress around the week of the race, which is exactly what you don’t need right before a marathon.
It didn’t ruin the trip itself, as I always enjoy visiting Vancouver. But the resulting anxiety and the required logistics (I had to discuss matters over the phone with H.R. during my trip as they became time sensitive) pretty much torpedoed my sleep and mental health during the trip.
So, even though I physically was trained and ready, a lack of sleep and residual effects of anxiety left me in terrible overall condition at the start line. Plus it was unusually warm (having already reached 70 degrees Fahrenheit at the gun). I got to the 5K mark overheated, and dropped out.
Life is much better now. My new career path is much better and, even with its new challenges, so much more rewarding.
The chain of events at that fractured work situation, while (it turned out was) mostly unrelated to my actual performance, did speed along a transition out of what had become (regardless of my input) an unrewarding career. That situation had subtlely, insidiously brought me down and negatively impacted my outlook. I’m still to this day a bit surprised at how much leaving, by itself, changed me for the better.
While I could have done things differently there, I don’t think any resulting changes would have worked out as well as life has since. Life has a way of working things out, especially when you are proactive and positive about how you roll with the punches.
I still believe dropping out of Van 2018 was the right decision. It was a bummer to not run my goal race in one of my favorite places in the world. But, never minding that my health would have fallen into substantial risk had I continued… we can learn and grow from everything we experience.
I’m still glad for the experience. I still grew a lot from my training. Nothing that happened could undo my growth from that. That training process played a huge part in my preparation for Chicago, and I learned a lot about long distance training.
It’d be great to go back and try again. My mother floated the idea of a 2019 vacation in Vancouver, and that if maybe I was feeling up to it I could enter the race (while popular, it does tend not to sell out until right beforehand) but that I could just hang out in the city otherwise. I do love visiting Vancouver and it’d be great to spend quality time with my folks while visiting it.
Well, I don’t know about their plans for visiting. Things can change, and while my mother is retired she does have competing and changing needs and priorities. So a May 2019 trip together may be possible and maybe not.
But, sorry Mom… while you and Dad can absolutely join me if you can… I’ve already made up my mind that I’m going back next May no matter what: