• Carmen Scuito

26.2 Cancelled: A Never-ending Nightmare

For the second consecutive year, the REVEL Mt. Charleston race series has been cancelled due to COVID.

Heartbroken is an understatement. It is hard to feel that all the effort and time I invested into this Boston-qualifying attempt wasn't a waste. Although I was only 9 weeks into this training plan, it was a plan that consisted of 70+ mile weeks and tons of time invested both in running and recovery. It was a plan that required training for the plan, and that training was years in the making. If you have been following my running journey, you know I had this date circled on the calendar for quite some time.

I'm not going to go into my thoughts for on the reasoning of the cancellation. This situation is what it is, and it just sucks. There's no other way to put it.

I could continue my training and run it virtually on my own, but it would not count as a Boston-qualifier. Virtual races aren't for me. I want to go to Boston.

I could find another marathon around the same date or later in the year, continue my training, and go for it then. This seems logical, but my heart and my mind have been on this race on this course for way too long. Marathons are just as mental as much as they are physical, and both mentally and physically, I am exhausted. Nevertheless, I have no doubt that if I commit myself to this, I could do it, but in all, this just isn't for me either for reasons I go into in a bit.

I could, once again, defer my application and plan to race in 2022, and barring any drastic changes in the coming days, this is the option that I'm going to go with.

The words of encouragement I've received from so many people after this news is something I'm very thankful for. To most people, I understand that this doesn't seem like a big deal. It's just a race, and I still get a free deferment entry to next year, but if you're a serious runner with competitive goals, I don't need to explain why this stings. I've had interesting conversations with my friends Gabbey and Ray, who I have to credit for opening me up to some critical thinking and looking deep into myself about this whole situation. They helped me understand that getting myself in shape for this legitimate BQ attempt has been quite the mental, physical, and time investment that shouldn't be unappreciated. I put too much effort into getting myself to where I need to be, and it's unfair if I don't finally put my body to the test.

Yet, I have to say that it's not that I don't want to find another race this year, or that I don't think I could run a BQ somewhere else, and it's definitely not that I don't want to continue pushing myself to be the best runner I can be. I'm as passionate about my future career as much as I am about anything else. Admittedly, I've put school on the backburner a bit these last few weeks, and although I'm still doing okay, I'm not where I was just a few months ago. I can't recall much else I've done lately besides go to class, go for a run, eat, and sleep. My expectations and goals for my running life are high, but they may be even higher in regards to my career. I can't simultaneously commit myself to both as much as I'd like to to achieve what I want to achieve, and honestly, nor do I want to. The last few weeks haven't been much fun at all, and I'll even admit that I'm pretty burnt out. Nevertheless, there's no doubt in my mind a BQ would've made it all worth it, but I don't know how much longer I'd be able to keep this up for another race on a later date to attempt it.

I love the competitiveness of this sport, but really got into it in the first place was that I was genuinely having fun. At some point over the last few weeks, I realized I wasn't having fun anymore. I was sacrificing post-run hangouts, my very limited free-time, sleep, and many other opportunities for enjoyment for some extra miles and longer workouts. I miss not having to worry about a training schedule and being able to run any miles at any pace with anyone. I miss having fun with the community, the post-run hangouts, and just doing more things I enjoy in general. I love being competitive in this sport, and I love all the work and dedication that goes into it. However, I also love the beer miles, the 24/24/24 challenges, and the endless amounts of food running so much allows me to eat without having to worry about my weight. My 100% competitive switch has been on for a little too long, and I lost the fun. With that being said, if you're reading this and are interested in running a chocolate milk mile, please let me know.

Anyways, my dreams, for the time being, feel crushed. Of course "there's always next year", but that's what I was saying last year when I registered for the half marathon and that got cancelled. But I understand that the world isn't ending. I know that everything will be okay, and I know that 2022 will be the year I finally get to BQ. I'm going to continue getting better, and I'm going to leave no doubt that I can run 26.2 miles in under 3 hours in 2022, but right now, I'm hitting the pause button. I'm sure there's a silver lining somewhere, but for now, this just sucks.

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