I planned 6-8 for this morning’s last long run and I did my best to contain myself. I tried to feel out what my race pace should be and still think I was going too fast in places. At this point, my race pace feels like crawling. I’m almost happy about that! I’ll be happier about it post-marathon. I’d be much happier if I didn’t cut it short because my muscles were tight as guitar strings playing a really intense version of “Crazy Train.” For now, I have to reign it in, keep myself loose, and try to remember all the things I used to know about marathons.
For weeks I’ve been going over things in my head. What if I don’t finish under a certain time? What if I need to take walk breaks? What if I hit the wall and can’t finish? What if… something something disaster?
I have my race day gear planned all the way down to my nail polish. I have gels and more than enough pockets in my shorts to carry them. I’ll have my throw-away water bottle so I can skip the first few aid stations; they’ll be the most crowded until the field spreads out. I think I have myself mentally prepared. I broke the course down into sections and intend to tackle them one at a time to try and stay in the present instead of thinking about how much further I have to go. I may go mad otherwise.
Then I had a thought: the running is the thing. I started this whole process to get my mojo back. I can run again, and sometimes, I want to run again. I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror and think, “I recognize that girl.” Yeah. Girl. I’m well past girl-hood, but I’m owning this.
If I run the marathon well (by my own standards… say around or under 4:40), I’ll be over the moon. If I end up run-walking to get through it, I’ll probably be disappointed I didn’t do better, but still OK. If I run walk and still finish well, I’ll be happy too. If I don’t finish… I’ll think over over a thousand things I did wrong. But, I’ll have to reming myself that the running is the thing and this marathon attempt is just part of it.
So, if that’s the case, what’s the point of this blog? 0 to Marathon. The marathon is supposed to be the thing. It is a thing, but it’s not THE thing.
Are you just full of shit?
Probably. I keep contradicting myself. Have you even been reading?
Are you just trying to give yourself an out?
Maybe, but I also feel pretty calm about it. Am I a grown-up now?
What can we expect from you this coming week?
Some easy runs, much stretching, and either radio silence or a bunch of panicked stream of consciousness posts. You’ll have to wait and see.
Has anyone ever called you an asshole?
Yeah. Me. And I’m sure some other people too.