Going the Distance

Today is Friday.  On Sunday I’m running a marathon.  26.2 miles.  To say that I’m scared would be wrong.  Though slightly nervous, I haven’t turned the corner to wondering why the hell I thought this would be a good idea.

I imagine that will happen somewhere around mile 18.

I’m not as prepared as I thought I was going to be when I filled out the registration form (so long ago, in fact, that my last name was still Bishop).  When I signed up the only thing we had planned was our wedding and honeymoon, which was way back in August, leaving me 3 months to train for the full marathon.  Three uninterrupted months of training my body to survive a 26.2-mile run.

But then we were offered a free flight to Washington so why not make it a long trip instead of just three days?  I really had planned to do some running while we were there, but you know what they say about the best laid plans.  It didn’t quite work out.  I’m not used to not having any sun to wake me up – or heat to remind me that staying in bed all day long perhaps isn’t such a great idea.  Instead I stayed under those warm covers until 9 o’clock (the only time I sleep in is when we’re in Washington/Idaho/Oregon in the winter and I can convince myself that it’s still early enough for me to be sleeping), at which point the seemingly endless list of errands had to attended to.  I’ll go for a run this evening I told myself, not realizing that it gets dark, like, really early there.  By the time we would get home at 5:30, it would already be too dark (and cold, now that all I have in my arsenal of running clothes is for the heat of Hawaii) to run.  I tried the treadmill at our hotel in Bellevue, but I hate running on a treadmill.  I feel like I’m going at a sprint, using all my energy, and when I look at my pace I’m barely under 10 minute/mile.  After a mile-and-a-half I was too exhausted to go on.  Our last day in Bellevue I managed to get in a 3-mile run outside.  My throat burned a little, but I didn’t lose any limbs due to frost bite, so I consider it a success.

What I’m feeling now, on the eve of the eve of the big race, is anticipation.  I’m actually looking forward to running this race.  I know that it will suck and I’m sure there will be many points when I just want to give up, but I’m looking forward to pushing through those moments and reminding myself of how amazing I will feel when I finally cross that finish line.  To say that I never thought I could do this would be an understatement.  I had resigned myself to being a person who could only do short distances.  I didn’t think I was cut out for long distance running, and though it may not be my favorite thing, I know now that I am capable of running long distances.  I have been pushing myself in a way that I never have before and it’s made me confident that I’ll finish this race.

In the past four months I’ve finished a super sprint triathlon, a sprint triathlon, and a half marathon.  This weekend will be the full marathon and after that I’ll start training for an Olympic triathlon.  I’m proud of myself, I admit.  I’m thrilled that I’ve done this.  That I’ve kept going with it.  That I’m no longer scared to push myself and see what I can do.

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Filed under Exercise is Awesome!, Me

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