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Day 109 of 112-LAST RUN-#MARATHON WEEK

A PLAY IN FOUR ACTS

Today so far as been a great day.  And it’s only 6:52 a.m.  Yesterday, was a different story.

Yesterday I woke up to temps in the 50s and the melt down began:

  • Why is it so nice today?
  • Nice weather today is wasted weather.
  • I need this weather on Sunday.
  • On Sunday it is supposed to be a high of 88 degrees.
  • I’ve trained so hard for this marathon.
  • I’ve devoted the last 112 days of my life to this training.
  • If the weather keeps me from making my goal of 4:15.
  • etc., etc., etc.

In hindsight, and actually while it was happening, I knew it was a momentary set back.  I knew it was some last-minute anxiety, which was being exacerbated by the fact that I haven’t been sleeping very well since Sunday-which is also do to last-minute, pre-marathon, “what if I don’t hit my goal” anxiety.

Act I
I kept quiet and to myself at work.  I asked my coworkers Diane and Stefanie if they wanted to go out to lunch. I told them I was in a funk and just needed to get out of the office.  Diane IM’d me back and asked what I was in a funk about.  I told her I was anxious about the race on Sunday.  I told her about the heat.  I started to type about how hard I’ve trained for this and for the heat to get in the way…and the tears welled up in my eyes and started to roll down my cheeks.  Her response, “They need to handicap a runner’s time in the heat like they do for golf.”  She then followed it up with, “Well if the weather is an issue then everyone’s times will be off.”  Lightbulb going off in my head moment: It’s not that I want people to do poorly in the race, but I took comfort in the fact that if my time is off due to the heat, I won’t be the only one.  Thank you, Diane.  And thus concludes Act I.

Act II
I finally told Christy how I was feeling in an email.  I had held off earlier in the day because I didn’t want to appear needy and whiney and “it’s all about me, me, me” because she too is running in the race on Sunday.  It is her first marathon!!  How totally awesome is that?!?  I have to agree with Lynn from the track, “The first one is always the best.”  Christy will never forget this Sunday!  So, in light of that fact, I also didn’t want to freak her out or add to any anxiety she might be feeling.  She emailed me back:  “We can’t do anything about the weather.  Given the perfect conditions I so know you will get your 4:15 PR.  If it’s not perfect you may not and that’s ok.  It certainly isn’t worth compromising your health on race day for.  There are plenty of marathons in our future.  There is one that has your name and 4:15 on it.  I know you want it now because we’ve put in the work and it may very well happen, but give yourself some breathing room…..cause you deserve it!  xxooxxoo”  Lightbulb going off in my head moment:  I know this is true. But to hear those words from someone who understands you and knows what you’re going through is so helpful.  It also helps the words sink in.  If I said those words to myself, I wouldn’t have really believed them.  Thank you, Christy.  And thus concludes Act II.

Act III
I had also been texting my aunt about my anxieties.  She was over the top positive and had all the right things to say:

  • Lynne: “Remember it won’t be so hot early and you have pills and fuel,”
  • Me: “I know. But….there is really no shade on the course at all.  I keep going back and forth thinking about it.  It will pass in a few days because I won’t let it zap me.  I think I am thinking about it so much because it is so cool today!  Can’t wait to see you guys and have you meet Christy.”
  • Lynne: “You can do heat now.  You will be hydrated and your adrenalin will cool you.  I feel like I already know Christy and love her.  Why do I have tears running down my face and I can hardly see this screen?  I was jut about to take a nap before work but instead I am going for a run now.  Somehow I think my run will help you to remember to take positive energy from your surrounds during the marathon.  It will relax you and keep you strong.”

Lightbulb going off in my head moment:  Wow!  I am one lucky chica to have such an amazing friend/aunt.  A friend/aunt by the way who is a great runner-having run umpteen marathons herself and having posted some really great times.  I am a runner because of her.  This is all her fault, but in a most excellent  way.  I love to run.  Thank you, Lynne.  And thus concludes Act III.

Act IV
Christy  picked me up at 5:30 today to do our last run.  She asked, “How are you feeling?”  I said, “I”m feeling fat.”  She laughed.  There’s really nothing she can do about that.  She’s been there and done that.  Most of us have.  I think she was glad I at least wasn’t as worried about the run.  I told her, “I think one of the things that I’m most worried about if I don’t make my goal is that I’ve put it out there so much.  Talking about it and the blog.”  She relayed the following story about a runner blogger that she reads (she reads a lot of running blogs).   This one young woman was training for a marathon.  Her goal was 4:00.  Her hash tags were always #sub4ordie.  She ran a 4:25 or something like that.  Amazing.  She is still alive today.  She waited about a week to blog about it.  Nervous to “face” the readers, which I totally get. Her next marathon was something like a 3:37.  She couldn’t believe it.  She didn’t expect it.  She also didn’t expect to be about 2 minutes away from qualifying for Boston.  So, of course, she had to run again to try and get to 3:35.  She ran, and she posted over a 4:00.  Again, I do believe she is still alive today and no one likes or loves her less.  In fact, I don’t even know her and now I love her.  I found myself laughing the whole time Christy told the story and not because it’s funny but it was such a relief for me to hear it.  Lightbulb going off in my head moment: It’s not so much about the marathon time, but the person I’ve become while training for the marathon.  Thank you, Christy.  And thus concludes Act IV.

Last run before the marathon. Christy is wearing the gloves to help us remember on Sunday, if it is indeed 88 degrees, that we ran just a few days prior in long-sleeve shirts and gloves. Oh Mother Nature, you one crazy bitch some times!

So today was our last tempo run/run before the marathon. It was so much better than I thought it would be:

  • Christy’s story about the blogger on the way to the run had cheered me considerably and lightened my emotional load by getting rid of the “maybe I won’t hit my goal time” monkey on my back.
  • We ran a part of the marathon course.  I thought this section was going to be much longer and hillier.  The fact that I won’t be facing that difficult of a stretch during the race made me feel so much better.
  • We got off to a rough start with Christy hitting “lap” on her GPS instead of start, and then we ran on sidewalks that had cracks in them and untrimmed bushes that creeped out into our running space, and we still posted excellent times:

    Last Tempo Times

Gosh!  When was the last time I ran just three miles?  It has been years!  To me, a three-mile run was a waste of time.  Barely worth the time. But today’s three-mile run was one of my favorites of all time.

Carry on, friends.  Carry on.

 

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3 Comments Post a comment
  1. So glad to be reading from someone else who is going through the same thing. I’m focused on my ipod playlist, also tracking the weather, and adjusting my focus accordingly. Yes, the pre-race nerves and excitement and tapering make you crazy, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. (and yes, I have two possible outfits laid out. Oh, decisions, decisions….) This is a pretty tough first-timer marathon. But checking the weather this morning, the high dropped to 84 instead of 92, where it was a few days ago. No matter what, enjoy!

    June 14, 2012
    • Kristi Gilbert #

      Mark, is this going to be your first marathon??? If so, how totally awesome! Congrats!!!! Yes, it wouldn’t be a run without all the anxiety and pre-race nerves, etc. It’s what makes us all members of this insand fraternity of runners! I’m glad to see the temps dropping. It was beautiful yesterday and today it’s nice too. Hoping it holds out! Cheers, KG

      June 14, 2012
      • No, I’ve done about a dozen, but the prerace ritual of nerves and anxiety is always present. I was referring to your training partner, I believe, who you said was running her first.

        June 14, 2012

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