Amidst the stress and chaos of life I asked myself over a glass (okay 2 glasses) of bad Riesling tonight, “am I really doing this again?” Am I really running another marathon?
As I get closer to emptying my glass I realize the question isn’t “am I really doing this again?” The question is “why the hell am I doing this again?”
I don’t have:
- time to train,
- energy to train,
- the desire to start 5 months of training (except I do have the desire to run the actual 26.2 race),
- any happy thoughts about running really long runs in March. I hate running short runs in March,
- again…the time to train.
Things, crazy/regular/this-is-your-life-so-get-over-it, time and energy sucking things, are always happening which drive my anxiety about training through the roof. Liam gets a concussion at basketball practice and can’t go to school for 2 days, which means I don’t get as much work done during the day, which means I’m working at night or early in the morning when I first get up to catch up, which means I’m not running. Wyatt gets a cold and doesn’t sleep in his bed, which means he’s kicking me and breathing on me all night long, which means I don’t get a good night’s sleep, which means I drink too much coffee and not enough water the next day, which means I’m dehydrated, which means I feel tired and not at all like running. Charlotte is trying out for winter track which is a new sport for her which means her anxiety is through the roof, which means I have to buy 14 rolls of KT tape for her knees just to make sure there’s enough, which means I spend more money at CVS than I’d ever care to admit, which means for whatever reason that again, I drink too much coffee and not enough water. It’s just what happens.
Again, I ask myself: Self, why am I doing this???? Still no answer…. The Coastal Delaware Marathon in April is likely to be cold and rainy because last years race day for our half marathon was an absolute stunner of a day. It was picture perfect and the race COULD NOT HAVE BEEN BETTER. What are the chances of it being the same? And while we think that the end of April should be sunny and warm-ish, I know for a fact that it can be chilly, gray and dreary. The weekend of this running festival is my birthday weekend and this past week I’ve found myself sitting at my computer half daydreaming and half praying that the weather isn’t like my 8th birthday party when we were all out in the backyard in winter coats and hats, trying to hit a frozen pinata hanging from the wash line. 🙁
But then there’s this follow up question of why can I not imagine NOT doing it???? For months I’ve been perfectly happy to think about the 5K/9K challenge that I originally signed up for…but it started to seem like I wasn’t taking full advantage of the fantastic course and weekend. I struggled with bumping back up to the half marathon; I really don’t want to train in February and March…but…it just seemed right to make the change to the full marathon. The Jedi mind tricks and the nagging feeling I’ve had finally won out. I don’t know how I’m going to get it all done, but I’ll just have to figure it out one day at a time, one foot in front of the other. Just like everything else.
Mama D texted me a “pick-me-up” kind of text when I was super stressed yesterday. After getting Liam’s concussion diagnosis while I was at the office for late in the afternoon and evening therapist events it helped to read this: “Reason number 1,452,795 why I love you: amidst all the pressure and stress in your life- you sign up for a marathon. For a friend. Because you are awesome and giving and kind and supportive. It amazes me.” *heart emoji*
The truth of the matter is, my friend Denise is worth figuring out how to train for all of this. She works so hard and gives EVERYTHING she has every time we step out into the street, onto the trail, and into the box. She faces her fears, pushes through any pain, and gets it done. No matter what we do, she shows up and works her ass off. And if she wants me to be there by her side as she conquers her 26.2, then I’ll do it with a smile on my face. Because I can’t imagine a better way to spend a Sunday morning at the end of April.
The other truth of the matter is, I’ve always wanted to do another marathon. I had such a rough experience the first go around with barely being recovered from a nasty stomach virus and then doing the entire race all wrong. Ever since that finish line I knew I was going to have to do another one to prove to myself that I could do it better. And then, one by one, my Mamas started signing up for the full marathon in Delaware. I started convincing myself that this was the time. The timing is perfect to keep training after the Disney Princess Half. Why not keep going if I’m already halfway there? The course is flat and beautiful. FLAT. The half marathon was gorgeous and the scenery changed every few miles so time flew by so quickly. I will be there with all of my friends. WIN. I’ll be training and planning to race with a 1 to 1:30 or 1:1 run/walk interval, which seems like the smartest way to manage this big race. This is it, my chance, my opportunity to not watch my friends cross the finish line and regret not doing it with them …. April 23, 2017 could be my long distance running swan song. It’s kind of exciting thinking about retirement!
So now there’s 6 of us signed up for the full marathon. 6!!! That’s AMAZING and inspiring and beyond exciting. I’m sure training is going to suck in the middle of January and February, but will it? Maybe not. This is going to be so different than last time. This time there’s going to be a big group of us running 15, 16, 18, 20 miles during the weekend. It’s going to be like a breakfast party every weekend where we run/walk our way accross towns, eating trail mix and chews and GU while complaining about our husbands – why wouldn’t I want to join in that fun?
It feels right. It’s the right time. No regrets.