My fall marathon is just four short days away. In between me and that sparkly day is an 18 page final paper, presentation, doggy x-ray, drive to Baltimore, and drive to Philly. I have to book a hotel, clean my race outfit, pack everything in doubles in case I forget something, download spotify, charge my wireless headphones, and probably a lot of other things too.
I have been switching between being totally all consumed by race-day thoughts and excitement to not thinking about it at all because the butterflies are too much to handle all day. Still, when the sun goes down and we go to bed and Brian is quickly whisked off to sleepy dream world (I have no clue how he can fall asleep so fast), I lay there wide eyed. Racing thoughts challenged by my desire to visualize and manifest and take control of the hard things. I know pain is coming. I know discomfort is peeking it's head around the corner. I know there will probably be multiple points during those hours where I am angry at myself, scared that I won't finish, and just feeling a lil nasty. That's easy to focus on at night when it's just you and you're brain.
Even knowing the things that I do, there is still one MAJOR GIANT ENORMOUS thing I can always count on: I sure as heck don't really know what's going to happen. Yes the physical discomfort is probably inevitable but to what degree? I don't know. How has my hill training been working? I don't know. How will my feet bode? I really don't know that. Will I make friends on the course? Hopefully (that's one of my only goals for this race, make a friend). The only guarantee is that I will be cold at the start and probably nasueas at the end. So really only one guarantee. But still part of me feels calm.
Recently I heard a sort of mantra/ perspective from a runner gal that I think is super cool and I've been carrying it with me:
Every hard thing we do becomes part of us. And then it becomes part of our strength.
So every hard run is now part of me. When I feel like shit and then end up feeling ok and then even finish the miles, all of that pain and struggle is part of who I am now. The conquering of that is who I am, too. pretty darn sweet. running is so simple but SO POWERFUL Y'ALL. praising for it.
I have been noticing that as I have been preparing for this race there's been an undeniable connection and ownership feeling. When I think or speak of this race it's always the phrase "MY marathon". This is my beast I've chosen, albeit selfishly and maybe masochistically, but still chosen by me. Unlike past marathons I've run, with friends or a group or as major training for 4K, this feels remenent to my first. The desire to experience something new and different. To tangibly feel that I conquered something really freaking hard. To know that my own two feet--my strong, soft body--carried me from start to finish. That's really not a quantifiable thing. Sure the distance is but the power in the distance is wayyyy bigger!
We are strong people. We have good hearts and sometimes racing minds and every day we are doing hard things. Every day we hit walls and we keep moving because you can't just stop. Forward motion is better than stagnation. So consider this my conclusion that ties my love affair with running up in a bow and presents it in an easily-relatable way to every one who live and breathes and tries<3