Last MInute Thoughts
Nov 03, 2018
One week out before my eighth marathon and what am I thinking?
For one thing, I must admit that I am not as intimidated by the distance as I once was. The mystery of the marathon is not so mysterious anymore. I know it can be done. I know that I have it in me. I am painfully aware of how much discomfort I can endure. This is not, necessarily, a good thing, headed into a marathon, which leads me to my thoughts during this week, leading up to race day.
The fact that the mystery does not remain, leads me to commit to training, all the more...next time. Next time, not this time? No, not this time. This time, it has been obstacle after obstacle. I committed to train and did the best that I could, most days, but life got in the way in the form of illness/injury. Nothing major happened, just minor, and I am grateful for that. As they say, that's life. That's just the way it goes, sometimes. If I'd been training for my first one, I probably would delay. But, since I've done several, I know what I have in the tank. I know that I can make it through on what I've done thus far.
This is a challenge for me. Why? Because I'm a "belt and suspenders" type person. I like to dot all of the i's and cross all of the t's. It's who I am . It's in the very fabric of my DNA. This, then, is good for me to go and do, without feeling like I'm properly prepared. I will have to relax and trust in the work that I've done for the past several months and, not to mention, 14 years.
There is thought #1 - I'm not as prepared as I like to be. Oh, well. I'm going to do it anyway.
The next thought is to just go and enjoy. Enjoy? Yes, enjoy. I'm doing this marathon with my daughter and we are going to have a good time. Then, we are going to get in the car and eat our way home! We are going to be glad that we are able to go and do and run and, most of all, do it together. The other day, we were running down the road, when a lady stopped her car, lowered her window and asked if we were mother and daughter. She thought it was pretty neat to see us and, I must admit, I think it's pretty neat, too. Thought #2 - enjoy.
And my last thought probably combines the first 2, so I guess it is more of a conclusion. But let's continue with the thought flow of 1, 2 and 3. Thought #3 - not all races are meant to be run quickly. What's your hurry? What's the rush? Sometimes, when we hurry through life, we miss things. When you get to the finish line of a race, it's over. Done. You can't go back and do that one over again. The experience is what we train for, after all, isn't it? Why do we want to focus so much on our speed, that we miss most of it because we are zoned in on ourselves and miss what is happening around us? There is much to learn from the experience of the marathon. When we close out the world around us, the other runners, the volunteers, the kids on the side of the road giving out high fives, we miss these wonderful elements of the race experience and forego some powerful life lessons.
There is a time and place for working on your pace, running your race for a PR (personal best). This is not the time for me to do that. This is not the race for that. This race is purely for the experience and emphasizes, in my life, the value of slowing down a bit, taking it all in and making it through the experience set before me.
Now, before you tell me that racing is part of it, that doing your best includes running your best time and that you don't want to do it, if you can't do it fast, listen to me for a minute. Don't get me wrong, I always want to do well, but why does that always seem to mean fast? Fast is not, necessarily, strong or better. I do want to improve my pace, but I also want to enjoy what I'm doing. I want to enjoy the experience of the race. I want to enjoy running because I want to do it for as long as I can. For me, that means enjoying it.
Here i go, on my way to #8, continuing to taper this week, eating well, sleeping well and looking forward to time spent out on the road, in a beautiful place, with my most favorite running buddy. Let's do this!