If you’ve glanced at the countdown calendar on the ole’ bloggy-blog you may have noticed that the marathon is FIVE motherf@&#ing days away. How did it get here so quickly?
Our running group has seriously cut back on our distances in the last few weeks; since the big 20-miler, our long runs have been 7, 10, and 5 miles respectively and the weeknight runs have lessened in intensity a bit too. My knee is feeling tenuous, but I think that it will hold up through the race. It has to because I’m running it and I’m gonna win.
I wanted to see if you were paying attention there; of course I’m not going to win the marathon- but I am going to finish and I’m going to enjoy every second of it. Some I may enjoy more than others- for example, I think the seconds just before I cross the finish line and crumple to the ground in a sweaty, blubbering heap with a malasada clutched in my grimy fist will be the most delightful, while the seconds immediately following the realization that IM-ONLY-HALFWAY-THERE-OH-MY-GOD-I-STILL-HAVE-THIRTEEN-POINT-ONE-STUPID-STUPID-MILES-TO-GO-HOW-DO-I-CALL-AN-ÜBER-AND-HOW-FAST-CAN-IT-GET-HERE? will be particularly hard to enjoy, but I’m determined to enjoy the experience from early morning start to (hopefully) late morning finish.
There are two good things about the marathon being less than a full work-week away: 1. soon it will be over with and I will not have to anticipate/dread it any more. I will no longer compulsively contemplate how pleasant or unpleasant each and every road I drive on would be to run. I will not need to base my decision on whether or not to order a second margarita on factors of when I last ran, when I will run again, how much water I have consumed in the past 24 hours, the relative humidity, and the temperature forecast to insure I maintain proper levels of hydration. 2. CARB LOADING!!!!! Did you know that it is recommended that you up your carb intake for an entire week before running a marathon? I’m in heaven. I’m going to eat BAGELS, I’m going to eat PASTA and POTATOES and I’m not going to feel an ounce of guilt about any of it- gotta boost those glycogen stores, you know?
Not to get all sentimental and oh-thank-goodness-I’m-blessed-with-my-health-and-two-fully-functioning-legs-and-the-support-system-and-financial-means-to-embark-on-such-a-wonderful-experience-and-the-opportunity-to-achieve-goals-and-learn-so-much-about-myself-ey on you, but, well, yeah; I am blessed with all of those things and this has, so far, been a pretty great experience and I have discovered things about myself and accomplished goals I could only have dreamed of (actually- had nightmares about) a year ago, and I’ve made friends. Friends with whom I am united with against blisters and chafing and hot asphalt without shade. Friends who understand that communion of a spiritual sort early on a Sunday morning doesn’t always happen between four walls and a steeple. Friends who commiserate over strains and sores and politely ignore the fact that I just made a port-a-potty stop a few miles ago…and a few miles before that one too. Training for a marathon is no small thing and it gives me the warm fuzzies to be part of this community of weirdos.
The day approaches. I’ll be wearing bib number 16877 if you want to check my results out online. I was originally hoping to do the damn thang in under 5 hours, and as I grew stronger with my training, I started to toy with the idea of doing it in 4:45. Now, with my knee threatening mutiny, I’m hoping simply to finish and do it at a run. I’m looking forward to this week of rest (two super short runs this week- I may just walk them) and stuffing my face with delicious carbs. I’m also crowd-sourcing suggestions for a fresh marathon playlist. My friend Kath has made a few recommendations and if you’ve got any ideas, I’d love to hear them- I need lots of songs to get me through 26.2 miles!