Mon 28 Mar 2011
My marathon obsession kicked into full swing. It was 1998 and I was forty-five. Five years had passed since I broke 4 hours at the Long Beach Marathon. I ran the New York City Marathon in 4:34 and later that same year I ran the Napa Valley Marathon in 5:05. As you can see, those times were, well…slow. I justified New York because I started in the back of the enormous pack. I was sluggish at Napa Valley because I didn’t properly train. I didn’t train because my marriage was crumbling.
My relationship with my husband was getting more stressful and deteriorating. The strain of the business was wearing us down. By this time, we had up to 20 full-time employees in two offices not counting temporaries and we had plans for further expansion. I’m sure running our business wasn’t any harder than anyone else’s, but it seemed harder because we were never at peace with each other.
How did I deal with the stress? I ran. Running was a major factor in helping me deal with the pressures of my life. No matter what was going on, lawsuits, firing employees, meeting payroll, I could count on the stress release of a good run and the endorphins that followed.
Despite the issues of my marriage and the business, I continued to chase my dream of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. I ran the St. George Marathon in over four hours in 1999. I followed that up with the Las Vegas Marathon in 2001 in 4:10 and later that year I ran the Marine Corps Marathon in 4:17. I was beginning to run out of excuses. How could I have been so close to qualifying for Boston in 1993 only to be so lethargic in every single marathon since then? I was frustrated. I needed to try harder.
As I was engaged full force into marathon mania, my marriage dissolved and so did our business. 2001 brought another recession. This time, we were tired and neither one of us had the energy or fortitude to deal with the sudden drop of hiring and the resulting impact on a larger business. We separated and split what was left of the company.
Anyone who has endured the separation from a long-term marriage, especially with a child involved, understands how complicated and surreal life becomes. It seemed we were going through the motions looking for something that made sense. Again running was the anchor that kept me grounded. My divorce became final in 2002.
Hemingway Solutions, Inc. was created in 2002, a much smaller executive search firm. This was a new beginning. I looked forward to better times ahead, both in marathoning and in life.
In terms of marathoning—I completed marathon number 9, the San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon, in 2002 in well over four hours. I remember crossing the finish line shaking my head. I should have been enjoying such a great marathon with bands scattered about the course and celebrating finishing yet another marathon. Instead, I just thought about my perceived failure. It was hard to argue with years of consistent results that didn’t meet the mark. But I continued to be in denial—something inside didn’t want to believe I wasn’t good enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
In terms of life—my business was thriving and I enjoyed the peace of a smaller company and being independent. My son was adjusting to living life between two parents and his demanding sports schedule kept him busy. But another element cropped up to make my life more…dynamic. I met Mike and it was love at first sight. Here I go again.
Next—Another Relationship and Homeopathy
I continue to be on track in my training—though I find myself tired all the time! I logged 58 miles this week including a 20 mile run on Saturday and 9 miles on Sunday. I was lucky, I did not get caught in the rain, but the wind was strong. It was about as cold as it gets here in California.