Earlier this spring I applied to be a race ambassador. I'd learned about the program a year earlier and wanted to be part of the team ever since. The previous ambassadors had been so supportive and informative, I looked forward to being able to join them and give back to the race community, including newbie information-sponge runners like I'd been. One of the program requirements was that the ambassadors participate in the full marathon vs other distances. At this point I hadn't decided if a full marathon was in my future. I'd signed up for the half days after last year's race. I thought if I got into the program the decision would ultimately be made for me. I applied. A few days later I saw a social media post by the organizers that encouraged half marathoners to apply as the organizers were considering revising the marathon-only rule. I was very happy to see this as hoped it would increase the chances that my application would be accepted.
The application deadline came and went. The day the team was to be announced the race organizers sent me a note asking me if I had decided whether I would be running the half or full. I'd been vague in my distance commitment on the application. Did this mean they had decided to stick with the marathon-only rule? If I committed to the marathon would I be accepted to the ambassador team? I wasn't sure. What I did know was that I had to decide here and now and let the cards fall where they may. This is where my head and heart differed. My heart said I wanted to be a race ambassador. My head had a list of reasons why the marathon was not a good idea, especially this year. My heart reminded me that when I am challenged I step up and get it done. My head asked me if being an ambassador was enough of a reason to run the marathon.
In my reply I said I was committed to racing the half, and that I hoped it wouldn't jeopardize my application.
Was I mad? Was I hurt? Initially, yes. I truly felt that the race could benefit from having ambassadors talking up the whole day and every distance--not just the marathon. I had really felt like I was a perfect candidate. I loved the race and was already a cheerleader for it. But, as someone who works in marketing and business I also understood that strategy is different than emotion and rules are rules.
It's only been 24 hours, but knowing the outcome has freed my brain to let me think about the rest of the year. And, I've realized it's a relief to finally be able to confidently answer people when they ask..."No, I'm not doing the marathon. I am proudly running the half." It's also opened the door to exciting new things. Trail running. More focused speed training sessions. Running with our new dog. Cycling and strength training.
New focus and dreams for my heart.