WARNING: This is not a blog post with a hopeful, inspiring ending. This is simply my truth.
Running is alot like being married. There are good days and bad days. Days when you can’t believe how lucky you are to be here, able to do this; and other days when it stresses you, exhausts you, and you just don’t think you want to do it anymore. It’s a constant wave of emotion too, especially when it comes to racing and chasing time goals. Sometimes you’re happy and exhilarated and everything is going right; other times it’s not so easy or is even down right hard, miserable, or painful and you just want to give up. But you stick to the plan. You stay your course, and by putting one purposeful foot in front of the other and doing the best you can with what you have to offer, things get better…and you fall back in love all over again.
It is now THREE WEEKS until the Erie Marathon. I am currently in the “jitters” phase of marathon training…or, due to my medical background, I prefer to (more appropriately) call it: “the feeling of impending doom” phase.
I have thought about not showing up for this particular race more than I have for any other race that I have signed up for in the past. I know that I am not alone in this phase, as I just had a conversation with a friend of mine who is much fitter, much faster, better trained, and much more experienced in marathon running than I am. She is literally on the verge of achieving her own Boston Qualifier and has the ability to do it at Erie next month. Yet she, too, has expressed the same thoughts/feelings as me.
Why am I doing this?
I don’t even think I WANT to do this.
I wish the race was over already.
I can’t wait till it is over so that I can relax a little bit.
I want to focus more on running shorter distances better and with faster speed.
I don’t know if I can do this.
This is quite possibly going to take much more than I can give.
Earning Boston is going to take so much more; perhaps even more than I am able (or willing) to give.
I am afraid that I won’t make my time goal; that I will bow when the pain starts to break me down, unable to find the strength to endure it and see it through to the end.
I am afraid that I will disappoint myself.
I skipped a few workouts…and skimped on a few more.
I am tired.
I don’t feel “ready”.
I am intimidated by the distance; still conquering this tremendous feat in my mind, much less, my legs.
Yet, ultimately, I know that even if don’t make my time goal in Erie, I will feel better about myself for having tried than for not trying at all.
And so I will finish these final training weeks in whatever way that I can. I will lace up my Asics, drive to Erie on Sunday, September 10th, and take my place on that line. I will run my race to the best of my ability and be proud of my determination to finish what I started. I will look for encouragement amongst the crowds; the faces and high-fives of my family and friends. I hope to find strength in my running friends who finish their race and then come back to help me finish mine; but I know that I can not rely solely upon them as they each have their own race to run and struggles of their own to overcome. So I will have to dig deep and find a way to keep my mind bright. (Every runner knows what a dark and scary place the mind can be in the final 10 miles of the marathon.)
So, again, this is not a blog with a hopeful inspiring ending.
It is simply an honest look at where I am right now. It is simply my current “truth”.
No hopeful insights about how this thing ends.
Just me, alone with my thoughts (and my tanking confidence), blogging another chapter in my story, as I continue to find my own way to overcome the struggles of “chasing Boston” and find my love of the run again.