Whenever I use this phrase, I always feel sorry for Laura Ingalls Wilder. I don’t particularly remember her family’s wagon wheels coming off, although I’m sure they did. Life was rough for those pioneer folks.
Anyway, my wagon wheels coming off isn’t nearly as dire. I’m speaking of marathon training. I know, this probably isn’t a giant surprise to any of you who’ve been reading for a little while but STILL, I thought this training cycle would be different. I WANTED this cycle to be different
After I got back from France, I was geeked about running. I ran a fair amount while there – much more often than I’ve ever run while on some kind of vacation and I felt good about it. I also ran with some very cool people so this helped motivate me even more. Nevertheless, I know myself and didn’t want to come back and jump right into 26.2 registration. I had my sights set on Detroit, since it was the race that got away last year during my sickness. Not to mention, it allowed for a little longer of a training cycle and considering I would be starting late, this was a blessing. This 26.2 registration ended on Aug. 16th if you wanted to be able to cross the bridge into Canada, which, of course, I did.
So, I decided to be semi self aware of my lack of training abilities and use the 4 weeks to see if I could stick to the plan, most importantly hit my long runs. I did it! I didn’t miss any of my long runs by the time it came to sign up, which I did when I realized I was DOING IT! Training like a good runner should!
Then the wagon wheels came off of my training cycle… Here’s the deal: I got back from France on Wed, July 15th. I worked the next day (which I was barely conscious for so I don’t remember much about that day) and then took Friday off from work so I could actually read a computer screen come Monday morning. Why? Because training for our new employees started and one of my supervises is new this year. Training only ramps up from here and reaches heights of intense exhaustion – I knew this. There was also the added stress/work of opening a new building, which I oversee. No, I didn’t manage the actual construction of the building (seriously, I would NEVER want that job!) but it’s under my supervision. But I couldn’t completely foresee the future.
The last two weeks of August and the first week of September my brain and health were fried. At this point, I’d been on call for 3 weeks in a row. The work days were long and the late night calls were beyond frequent. There were no long runs happening. I knew I needed to do them and part of me really wanted to. The other part of me laid on the couch and tried to convince Simon he was able to cook so I didn’t have to get up. I was mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted and I paid for it with some health issues. Migraines – ewww and a fire in my belly that wasn’t ambition… just pure stomach acid eating the lining for breakfast, lunch, dinner and couple of snacks.
Fast forward to today and Detroit is this Sunday. When I signed up, I paid $10 extra dollars in order to be able to cancel my registration and still get a refund. I wasn’t completely delusional with regards to what lay ahead of me in my work world. This past weekend I ran a 5 miler and no, I didn’t blow that puppy out of the water. I told my good friend who was running with me about the bailout contingency plan and she said, “yeah, but if you think like that then you won’t do it”. Very true.
I already have my accommodations. I want to do this race since last year, 4 days before it I was huddled up on the couch in so much pain I thought there was a gremlin inside my stomach trying to get out – and not cute and furry Gizmo but the one where it was fed after midnight and water was poured on it. Yeah – the scary ones.
There won’t be a PR (I thought I might be able to pull one off originally) but I will finish. Two weeks ago, I climbed on the treadmill and started freaking out at my lack of preparedness. I’m certainly not a Doomsday Prepper in this scenario. I suddenly remembered this is supposed to be FUN. It took a massive boulder off of my shoulders, one of which continued to tell me how much I sucked at every footfall. My inner lack of confidence and the rude voice in my mind are still providing a monologue consisting of a “you are probably going to lay on the side of the road and be picked up by the marathon version of the zamboni” but I’m getting better at quieting this sabotaging butthead.
And I am now the proud owner of some wicked compression tights too, so at least this will give me a boost.
There it is. Another race I’m not ready for. I talked to my brother about it while in NY. He said maybe I’m not quite ready to really commit to training. After my mom died, and the depression/anxiety took over, running was tough. I said I “wanted to be ready for trainings since running is part of my identity”. Kev said, “it isn’t WHO you are though”. It has stuck with me. Time to release the pressure valve, stop worrying about my slow pace and enjoy the moment. And get excited!