It has taken me a while to write a new post. I could say life got in the way, I could say it was because I was enjoying a little break from running. Both of these are true. But the more likely reason is the slightly overwhelmed feeling I have had as I head into marathon training. The fact is I have never undertaken something like this in my life. I feel nervous, excited, overwhelmed, curious, scared – make that terrified – and the list goes on. Somehow having to write about it all seemed a little too much. But, the original reason for this blog was to record this journey, so it is time to write again.
I have about a week of training under my belt now after taking a rest for a few weeks following my series of half marathons. It always amazes me how even a few weeks off can set you back so much. I am experienced enough now to know that it will come back fairly quickly so no need to panic. That said, it isn’t a great feeling when you find yourself once again struggling to finish 10k.
A friend and I joined a Running Room marathon clinic as a way to get motivated and help us stay on track. We were more than a little worried when neither of us seemed capable of managing our clothing for the first clinic. One of us had brought a black tank instead running shorts and one of us had running pants on inside out. I won’t say which one I was, I’m not sure which one is worse. One has to wonder about how we can manage training for a marathon when we can’t manage something as simple as pants 🙂
As always, running has brought clarity. I am not as overwhelmed or terrified as I was a couple of weeks ago. As much as I enjoyed my few weeks off, the fact is I feel better when I run. The physical exertion, the time to think, the comfort of having a schedule and a goal are all good things for me. And in one of my recent runs I became quite comfortable to aim not for a certain time, but just for the accomplishment itself. I want to walk away from the race feeling tired but still able to smile. If I am crying, I want to be crying in awe, not in pain. I want to finish stronger, not weak with injuries. I want to take some time on the course to take in the experience, not just run and wish for it to be over. This may or may not be the only marathon I ever do. I can’t say for sure because as my boys often remind me, I said I had no interest in half marathons, then said I just wanted to try one, then did several and now of course comes the full marathon. But if this is the only one, I don’t think my time will be the most important thing. The fact is I think it is pretty hard to even predict your first marathon time, there are just too many variables. In the end, it will be the journey of training and the experience of the race that will provide the memories for years to come.