Wednesday, January 9, 2008

T-Minus 4 Days!

Almost half a year of training. 168 days of waking up before the sun rises, giving up my lunch hour, and fundraising. 24 weeks of running everyday, lifting weights, and eating more carbs then I ever thought possible. 5 months of giving up my beloved Friday night happy hours. And for what? So I can suffer through 26.2 grueling miles in the Florida sun? Yup, pretty much.

If you asked me back in August why I was doing this, I would have made a joke. In fact, I did make a joke out of it. I made a lot of jokes...and I still do. Before I officially signed up with TNT, I texted myself a list of reasons I wanted to do this. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that if you take the battery out of your cell phone, it erases your saved messages. Damn. I’ve only read that list a couple times and I really wish I could remember everything on it. Prove I can. What else am I doing now? Get in shape. Great cause. Why not?! Whatever my motivations were at the time- I’m glad I did this. These past 5 months have made me a stronger person- not only physically, but mentally as well.

Not to be cliché, but I have proven to myself that I can do anything I set my mind to. There were plenty of times when I questioned my ability to keep going. Take, for example, the day I first started running. It was a hot July day and I forced myself to do 2 miles- I did a mile out and back. To be perfectly honest, I don’t know which was tougher- those 2 miles or the 20 miles I did a couple weeks ago. They both pushed me to my limit and forced me to keep going, even when I wanted to stop. I know it sounds bizarre but- I was, and still am, just as proud of myself for finishing those 2 miles, as I was when I finished the 20. I don’t think it’s so much the distance that matters…its how hard you push yourself to get there.

When I would tell people in August that I was running a marathon, I would get one of the following responses:

How far is that? All marathons are 26.2 miles. It doesn’t matter where you run it, or when you do it…its 26.2 miles. Well actually, I guess I should take that back… (WARNING! Useless but kind of, interesting information to follow) The marathon was created for the 1896 Olympics (the inaugural modern day Olympics) in Athens, Greece to commemorate the run of the soldier Pheidippides from Marathon to Athens. Contrary to popular belief- his run was actually 24.85 miles. During the 1908 London Olympics, the race was extended to 26.2 miles so it would end in front of the royal family’s viewing box. Why couldn’t the royal family have sat at, I don’t know, mile 20!!!
Oh My God! Where? When? WHY?!! Yes, I am. In Disney World, January. I’m doing it to raise money for Leukemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma research. Would you like to make a donation?
How far have you run so far? Well, I’m in training, so no, I haven’t done the entire thing just yet. But I have really great coaches and I’m training real hard.

and as for the most common response…

Laughing directly in my face. Some people try and hide it, but most just laugh at me. YOU’RE running a marathon. Hahahahaha. One girl who was training for the half switched over to the full when I told her I was doing it and said (right to my face) “Oh, you’re doing the full? Haha, then I can definitely do it!”

But lately, the main question I get…

Are you ready? Well I f’n hope so! I have busted my butt and listened to my coaches. I have done the workouts, ate the gu’s, read the books, and gotten the sleep (okay, maybe not so much for the sleep but…). I’ve scouted the course, planned when to refuel, and come up with a race day plan. I’ve booked my flight, reserved my hotel and have my outfit ready.

Then why don’t I feel ready?

Right now I have a mixture of emotions. I go from being 100% excited and can’t wait ready to go to holy shit you have got to be kidding me. I can’t do this, what the hell am I thinking! No, no, no. Again it sounds corny, but if I believe I can do, I’ll be able to do it. That’s the cool thing about running. You don’t have to be great at it, you just have to want to be. Sweet Life.


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