Thursday, September 6, 2012

Lots of Tears

Crushingly disappointed and sad right now.  Possibly a disproportionate reaction, but it is what it is. 

Let me start by saying that the last few days in general have been rough. 

Labor Day of course was lovely, but then it all took a turn. 

Tuesday morning my best friend and her husband flew back to Virginia.  After having them visit for almost a week, it felt so lonely suddenly to have them gone, and even worse since hubby's had a very busy week at work. 

Tuesday and Wednesday were very difficult and trying and unproductive days at work due to a virus on my work computer that resulted in the eventual loss of all my personal data (not much really), and almost equally irritating, all my favorites, preferences, etc.  Lost days, hours I'll need to make up in a month with not many weekdays.  Even in-house where you don't bill time per se, tracking hours seems to be the bane of any lawyer's existence, including my own. 

Since I felt so off-track after all the eating out and drinking with my best friend, plus the major work stress, last night, I decided to start back to Bikram yoga.  I had paid for another month a few weeks ago, and I've just been waiting to activate it.  And of course, yesterday was the perfect time to start -- my month will end right before we fly to China, so I'll be lean and mean when I get there!  Ready to tear it up at the Beijing Marathon.  Looking at past results, I would think I could be somewhere in the leading mix of foreign women (not that that's saying a lot, but definitely lots of over 4 hour women doing the race in general, so that would be cool, particularly coming off my one and only marathon WIN this past spring). 

So my last yoga class (before last night) was the day before I flew to Oregon for Hood to Coast.  So for me, it was two weeks away from yoga, but last night was perfect.  I made it through the entire class without leaving the room, without skipping any posture, without being too disappointed in feeling slightly less flexible than I was two weeks ago.  And I came out of class feeling like I was ready to re-center myself.  Ready to put aside the bummed out feeling at having my bestie gone and our guest room vacant, and to put all the work stress and frustration.  Ready to be calm and start Thursday on a whole new happy note. 

I came home from yoga last night and hubby was already in bed, so I stayed downstairs.  Ate some leftover tofu and made a big salad.  Watched a couple convention speeches and was thinking about going upstairs to bed. 

Then I decided to check facebook.  And that was when I saw a post from a friend on my "wall" (bacheca in Italian, is that how it translates to English facebook?  anyway...) telling me he was sorry and sharing this link:

And then the tears began.  Are you kidding me??? 

So if you don't want to click on the link (full story pasted below), the bottom line is that because of the National Congress of the Communist Party of China meeting in Beijing in October, the marathon will be held "later in the year."

I'm sure my reaction was disproportionate (let's just say there was some hysterical sobbing, hubby actually thought maybe someone in my immediate family had died while I was struggling to get the words out), but training has been going SO well this season.  I'm running so strong and injury-free right now.  I have had one lousy long run several weeks ago (and it was only a 15-miler), and I've just been kicking butt since then.  I have not missed a single run with the exception of when I was running Hood to Coast (where I ran relatvely fast (for me) and still got in about 18 miles that weekend) (and I guess there was also one weekend at my in-laws' over the Fourth of July where I ran without my usual running buddies -- but I still got the run in as scheduled).  So in terms of distance, I haven't missed a single run.  Seriously, I've been nailing my running schedule this season -- hitting every run and not only getting the miles, but also hitting all the right paces.  In the dark.  At 5:15 or 5:30 every frigging morning all summer long.  Did I mention that summer in Dallas is hot? 

It's not fair that there won't be a marathon.

We bought plane tickets to go to China!  Thousands of dollars! 

We received our Chinese visas this past week!  Hundreds of dollars and hours of crap about getting addresses for "hosts", completing and delivering the applications, getting visa photos, etc. 

We booked (and pre-paid) a hotel right by the marathon starting line! 

I had dreams of wearing a USA Olympic running shirt (since everyone will know I'm a foreigner anyway) and hearing Chinese cheers!

I wanted to picture myself like an Olympian, running toward the Bird's Nest finish line just like they did in 2008.

Soaking up the sights of the city. 

Having a marathon medal with Chinese writing on it.

Having a marathon shirt with Chinese writing on it!  Maybe buying a jacket at the expo too! 

Running my first marathon on foreign soil (something like my 16th marathon overall).  Heck, for my birthday last week, one of my friends gave me a book (Second Wind) about a woman's mid-life quest to run seven marathons on seven continents and my immediate thought was that within the next 18 months, I will have run marathons on 3 continents (Beijing in October, San Antonio in November, and then Berlin next September), so it could be fun to hit the other 4 continents in the coming years.  Just by the very fact that I was doing the Beijing marathon, somehow my running that has seemed to lack some direction after so many years of aiming for a BQ and then finally getting it, suddenly seemed to have direction, a plan, a goal, 7 continents someday maybe, but if nothing else the big continents for sure. 

And now, no.  None of it.

I'm trying to find the bright side -- it will still be a great trip obviously, I mean, China will be so different and interesting and amazing.  My legs won't be sore so I can hike part of the Great Wall on what was supposed to be the day after the marathon.  There's always the San Antonio marathon in November, which was going to be just running for fun with friends (since obviously, not planning to train much in China after Beijing).  Now I don't have to worry about the packing challenges of a foreign marathon plus a couple weeks of traveling clothes.  And there will actually be other marathons in Asia in the future (if I really want to do 7 continents). 

But wow, I've been crying a lot in the last 9 or so hours.  I'm just so disappointed.  So much hard work, so many early morning runs, and now no Bird's Nest finish line to run toward. 

There have to be other people in my shoes -- maybe we can just set up our own marathon that day and have spouses and friends hold out water?  Anyone want to plan our own Beijing Marathon on Oct. 14, 2012?  Something tells me the Chinese government might not like that.  They don't seem wild about rebel assemblies of people doing something other than what the government wants. 

Sweet friends have offered me other options (one incredibly sweet friend this morning even said I could have her NY bib), but I guess the plan will just be San Antonio.  I'm using all my vacation time and our vacation spending budget for the trip to China. 

But damnit, I see a couple more days of tears in my future as I attempt to come to terms with this disappointment. 

I was thinking maybe I should seek out an old runner who was supposed to run the 1980 Olympics and can share my frustration, disappointment, and irritation with the communists....

I know, I know, this too shall pass, but wow, I am very, very sad. 

Big sigh. 

Here's the full article from Runner's World:

The Beijing Marathon, which is usually held in mid-October, will be run at an unknown date later in the year because of a still-unannounced meeting of the Chinese Communist Party, the Financial Times reports.

The National Congress of the Communist Party of China is the ruling party's most important meeting; at it, new leaders are unveiled and policy directions are hinted at, if not clarified. The meeting's imminent occurrence in Beijing is an open secret in the city, as hotels, restaurants and other vendors are quietly told to prepare. The marathon, too, is on the secret, in that it's been told it will have to find a new date.

Last week, the race's Chinese-language site was still counting down the days to the scheduled date of October 14. Now, however, the countdown timer in the upper right corner of the site's landing page is blank. The race's English-language site's most recent information is about the 2011 edition.

Held every year since, 1981, the Beijing Marathon is one of two world-class marathons in China. The course records are 2:06:55, by Benson Cherono of Kenya, and 2:19;39, by Sun Yingjie of China.


  1. Dude. That sucks. Sorry to hear that. Ugh.

  2. I'm so sorry. It's been like a cruel joke all along with the days counting down, but no certain date. That is really crappy to do to people so close to when it was supposed to happen. I totally understand your reaction.

    I really love the idea of accomplishing a marathon on every continent though it would take me a while to muster up the enthusiasm to run 26.2 miles in Antartica.

    Cry it out if you need to. You have been working incredibly hard. I admire your commitment to both running and yoga all while you maintain a career. I still look forward to reading about your travels in China.

  3. That is SO disappointing! I'm really sorry that all your planning and anticipation has been for nothing - well, not for nothing, but it probably feels that way. I know you'll get past it, but in the meantime, it's okay to be disappointed and wallow in that for a day or two!

  4. Wow, that just sucks. I don't blame you for crying, I'd be crying too, for sure. :(

    International politics....

  5. I am so sorry that this happened. It really is awful, especially because you were so looking forward to it. (((Big hugs)))