I am 72 hours, oh give or take some time, away from running my first MARATHON.
Oh dear god, hold me. This Saturday I am running the Derby marathon.
The truth is I am excited. Nervous too but less nervous than I have been for other races in the past. I feel like I did the training part of the work. I wished I did a little more in some respects. Like I wished I had done some weight work and more cross training. The word ‘more’ in that sentence is deceiving as it would seem I mean I actually did some kind cross training. Of course depending on what you read or who you speak with, some will say cross training when it comes to running is stupid, others say you should do it. I believe there is a middle ground to everything but regardless the most cross training I did was running after two small children. Eh well…
I feel prepared for the most part for the actual running of the race.
What I am not quite as prepared for is the before, the weather, how to handle pain as I feel sure it will occur during part or all of the race, and the after part of it all. Boy re-reading that sure seems like everything!
I think I will do okay as long as I stick to my guns and do a steady pace that is good for me. I am nervous to drag my training partner down a rabbit hole from hell with me.
Will my ankle(s) hold up?
My left ankle is a tragic mess, my right ankle is questionable at best. I keep having these stark visions of me limp running like a bad Sandler movie through the whole 26.2 miles.
Will my stomach hold out?
I have had my ups and downs with it during this training. It sucks to get stuck in a port OH potty in a race. Fumbling with the door and sweating sticky running gear, belt and thin sticky tp plus the smell!? I hate that.
What if the weather is the pits (too hot? too cold? too windy?)
It is what it is. Though squishy wet shoes for 26 miles seems just horrifically tragic to me! There is no controlling any of these things however.
I think mentally I am ready. I think this race will come down to physical ability and not because I have not done the mileage but mostly because my knees/shins/ankles are questionable and I have struggled with all or parts of my lower legs for months now.
Here's the thing and part of the reason that I am more excited than nervous is that I made it through the training. I was wholly out of shape at the beginning of 2011. I ran a half at the end of 2010 and sort of took an extended break that turned into months off because I was burned out. Then one day I strapped on my shoes because I could and running was fun again! I think that was the moment in my mind I decided I wanted to do the marathon. I wanted to do it before I turned forty. I wanted to accomplish it because it has been on some pseudo bucket list in my mind for years. The stars aligned and we started training on Christmas day 2011, ha. I think that day involved eating.
The thing about running a marathon is that prior to doing anything you think that 26.2 miles is the goal. The reality is as the butchered saying goes, it is not the destination, but the trip to get there that is important. I am forever grateful for Melissa. I could not ask for a better running partner. We made a plan and worked the plan. We were flexible and did the best we could do each time we ran together. We had fun. I said it time and again that if I were doing this training on my own, I would have long ago quit, I would not have run 18 or 19 or 20 miles by myself. I would not be near as prepared as I am today without Melissa.
Training for a marathon takes time. I knew this but until I was actually doing the training did I realize how amazing my family is. They were patient and kind and amazing. I am proud of them for having survived this training too. I love them dearly for allowing me the opportunity to achieve this little dream. Check.
I had to laugh because at some point through all of the injuries and many sicknesses, oh my the sicknesses, I realized I kind of lost my drive to reach a particular goal for this marathon. What I mean to say is that I thought I would want to achieve a certain time but now I just want to finish and honestly I hope I finish well but really I want to finish, uninjured, and happy.
So my prayer for this Saturday is to make it, uninjured. To have fun and do it with a smile on my face. I am determined to smile as much as I can, even up those hills, especially the damn hill at mile 24!
I cannot wait to share what happens with a smile on my face no matter what happens!