I haven’t blogged much about it, but I have been training for the past 4 months for my third marathon: May 1 in Vancouver.
I’ve been ambivalent about running this marathon. Training is hard, it takes over your life. I haven’t been out in the evening in weeks. My friends are starting to wonder if there’s something wrong with me. Not only that, but I signed up to be a run leader for a spring marathon, not realizing my group would consist of exactly four people: me, two fellow run leaders, one of whom is not signed up for a race and who hasn’t completed a run more than 2 hours, another who injured her ankle hiking and had to drop out of marathon training, and our sole clinic participant who was in Hawaii for all of February and missed several crucial build-up runs.
But still, I slogged through my training, being sidelined by nagging injuries (that were caught early and treatable) only a couple of times. The whole time I’ve been plagued by doubt: do I really WANT to do this? Previously, the training was the most fun part of marathon training. Not so this time.
Of course, yes I do want to finish this marathon. I’ve worked so hard for this. I know the feeling of accomplishment after crossing that finish line and getting a medal is incomparable.
I think my problem is: I’m no longer a newbie. I know how hard it is. I’m under no illusions as to how much work it takes to cross the finish line after 42.2k. I’m under no illusions that race day might not be my day to have a good run. After last fall’s sudden, unexpected injury (it happened in the last week before the race) I know that any-freaking-thing can happen to derail my race plan.
I finished Saturday’s 3:30 run confident that I am ready to run Vancouver. Now taper starts. I’ve been doing everything I can to get into the right headspace to finish strong. I visualize the race each morning, including my triumphant finish. I listen to my marathon music mix, including Phoenix’s “Love Like a Sunset.” I imagine Chris (who’s flying in from New Brunswick the week before) waiting for me in the family area with his camera, a big hug and kiss to my sweaty, salty face.
I know that no matter what happens in the next 20 days, I will take whatever comes, knowing that life happens, the running gods sometimes have a sick sense of humour and I’ve done all I can to get me that medal.
If it’s true that the race is simply the victory lap after all the training, then I’m prepared to just enjoy the day.