If you’ve been following my Twitter or Instagram, you probably know I’ve been training for a marathon. My first!! I’ve posted about it on the blog a little bit here and there…I don’t want to overwhelm people with my running, but I don’t have any training buddies, so my Twitter/Instagram/blog friends ARE my support system!
My marathon is in TWO DAYS. I’m freaking out a little bit! This marathon is the first one I’ve ever done, and it’s also only my second “official” race. The first one I ever did was more of a “fun run” we did for free beers (aka the best reason to run)…and my first “official” race was a half marathon last Fall. I couldn’t have imagined back then I’d be running a marathon this Spring…heck, last August I could barely run three miles around my neighborhood without stopping or almost passing out. Now I’m about to go out and run 26.2. Whew.
I wanted to write this because I’ve learned so many things throughout the training process. I’ve learned that almost everything you set out to do is do-able with hard work and determination…and that 99 percent of what keeps us from going for whatever crazy thing it is we want to do is all in our heads. I noticed that if I had a really terrible, difficult run, it was because I was really negative about it in my head and/or didn’t prepare well enough in the days leading up to it. I sailed through a 20 miler four weeks before the race and struggled through a 22 about 2.5 weeks before. Why was two miles such a game changer for me? What made two more miles so much more difficult??I was negative about it!! In the days and hours leading up to it, I kept thinking “I can’t wait to just get this over with” and in my heart I was just dreading it because I knew it was going to take a really long time and it wouldn’t be easy. It’s amazing how your mindset affects your performance! And I think this applies to all aspects of life too! We are really only as good as we believe that we are.
I was telling a friend of mine that I really wanted to get a tattoo after I finish the marathon and she said “You like running that much??”. It’s funny because, I still have somewhat of a love/hate relationship with running. I have good days and bad. For the most part, I’ve come to somewhat enjoy it. At least, I enjoy running more than almost any other form of exercise. But I think that people become runners, not because of the actual running…but because of all of the things you learn about yourself along the way. I was NEVER an athletic person. Always the smallest in my class, I sucked at gym class. I have zero hand eye coordination (this makes me bad at video games too) and I can’t catch to save my life. Running seemed so simple to me…you just put one foot in front of the other, right? While running itself isn’t that hard to pick up, I learned that so much of being athletic has nothing to do with physical attributes or even strength. So much of it is in your mindset. What gets you through 20+ miles isn’t your legs (though, yeah, they play a pretty key role) it’s your mental toughness. Training for this marathon has taught me to be strong and to persevere.
I’m so nervous, but so excited to do this! The anxiety is killing me right now! I can’t get this worried, anxious, excited feeling out of the pit of my stomach. Running a marathon has been on my bucket list for years…and I’m so pumped to finally check it off!! But I’m also really scared and nervous because I know how difficult it’s going to be. Even though I’ve trained for this, I know I probably could have trained harder…and I’m still a novice as far as running is concerned who’s taking on a ridiculously huge challenge. Plus it’s supposed to be cool and rainy on race day and I’m not feeling my best right now. Lucky for me though, I’ve trained through wind gusts, downpours, and bad menstrual cramps, so we’ll see how this goes Sunday! Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me during this training process…for all of the kind emails, encouraging text messages on training days, FB and Instagram comments, etc. You guys have helped me get this far! I know I couldn’t have done it without you all! Also, if you’re interested or in town, I’d love to see lots of friends at the finish line on Sunday!! I expect to finish between 1:15-1:45. I’ll give you a sweaty hug and a high five!!