Layin’ Low

It’s 7 days until D-Day … just seven.  It’s hard to believe that it’s all come down to this.  It seems as if April was just yesterday.  I feel as if I need more time.  I need more training.  I need to shed a few more pounds.  But … I only have seven days.  I would say “one week,” but that makes it seem that much closer.

All I want to do is hide.  I don’t care to interact much with anyone, and I’m happy to have the rest of this time off of work.  I don’t care to talk to anyone about how I think I’ll do, or what my goals are.  Really, all I want to do is hide out.

Truth is, I’m sacred.  I don’t feel ready.  Yes … I have been training.  Yes, I have put in the miles.  Yes, I have worked hard.  Yes, I could have done better, trained harder, ate better, taken better care of myself,  whatever … it’s too late now.  I’m done.  This is what it has come down to, and I’m scared out of my mind.

People say, “You got this, Row.  You know what to do.  You know what to expect.”  Yes, I have run a marathon before, however, this is the first marathon that I will be running with ACTUAL training, and I really don’t know what to expect.

I’ve been asking other endurance athletes and runners for words of wisdom and advice to keep the motivation up when your body is just screaming at you to, “STOP!”  And I am thankful to everyone who answered me.  I’m not trying to flood my head with everything, just taking bits and pieces of some great advice and filing it away.  But I’m still scared.

I need this time to lay low and hide out just to tune out what everyone else is doing and focusing on.  I need this time to just find me, and figure out what I need to do to get through this.  I believe that I CAN do this.  I have put in the time, the training, and the miles.  I have mental toughness, and perseverance.   I have finished a marathon before.  I am strong.  I am able.   I can do this.  I CAN do this.  I will do this.  I’m okay.

Deep breath, Row.  Deep, deep breath.  Breathe.  Believe.

I got this … just let me hide out for a couple more days.  I’ll be okay.  Whatever happens, I know that I WILL BE AMAZING!

Keeping My Head Screwed On Straight

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had a lot of realizations.  Well, that’s partly true … what I’ve really had were wake up calls.  Realizations, wake up calls, same thing.  My head hasn’t been screwed on straight – it’s been bobbling and at times hanging on by a mere thread.  That’s crazy, because I keep thinking that if I could just run like a chicken with its head cut off, then there would really be no problem.

I think too much … that is my problem.  I’ve been told by my husband, and countless people that I just think too much.  Things that should be easy and mundane, I end up over-thinking and screwing it all up!  I’m one of those people who are wound up pretty tight ’cause I get myself all worked up over nothing.  I sit here and try to control everything, when in reality, I can’t because it’s impossible.  And some days, with all that’s floating in my head, I can’t think … because I can’t focus … because I’m worried about too many things!

I try … I really try to just let go … but even so, I still have some hold of the reins just not so tightly.  Truth be told, it’s when I’m not thinking that things work out best, but no matter how many times I tell myself that, I don’t remember.  I forget and worry myself to death.

As my marathon training comes to a close (kind of, I’ll still be training, just not for a marathon) and the actual marathon comes to reality, my thoughts jump from one thing to another.   I wonder if the goals and expectations that I set for myself are too high.  I worry that I won’t finish in a “decent” time.  I think that I’ll look “slow” to everyone.  I wonder why I even signed up for another marathon.  I ask my self, “What am I trying to prove?”  I worry about injuries, dehydration, nutrition.  Did I put enough miles in?  Did I train enough?  Will my shoes and inserts fail me?  All these swirling questions, making me dizzy, driving me crazy!!!  If I ever needed a Calgon moment, it’s now!

I have been working frantically to get my head screwed on straight, using every kind of screw, nail, brace, and glue to do so.   I’ve been mostly worried about looking stupid and making a fool out of myself, when what I should be doing is praising myself and giving myself lots of props for even having the courage to run a marathon.  I am reminded that the race is not against others, the “real” race is within myself.  I am only racing against myself.   There are only a handful of people who truly care, and everyone else could care less about how I do, or how fast I finish.  At the end of the race, I will receive the very same medal that all of the other finishers receive. 

I know that I’m not the only one out there worrying and making a mountain out of a molehill.  I’ve come so far, and I have trained and worked so hard.  In my head, I know that I can do this.  In my heart, I believe that it’s possible.  But right now those moments are fickle – they come, stay for awhile, then they disappear, then I panic, calm myself down, and start all over.  I feel almost bipolar, riding an emotional roller coaster!  Aaaagggh!  For now, I sit tight, meditate, take some deep breaths and just believe … I breathe in faith, and exhale fear …

I am thankful to the individuals who have taken the time out to listen to me whine, and help me to set my head straight.  My hubby who listens to me as I allow the craziest of thoughts to escape from my mouth, who assures me that I’m going to be okay, and who believes in me wholeheartedly.   I’m thankful to my Coach @speedysasquatch who reminds me that he can help me expose my running talent, who gives me my plan and holds me accountable for my training.  My Twitter posse  and my running peeps who help keep me reeled in, and help squash the self-doubt, and help me to see ME! 

Two and half weeks left … one last long run, then it’s taper time …

Dead Last

It’s one of the most common fears when signing up for and entering a race:  coming in last place.  I can now say that I have the honor of holding that position in the last race that I ran.

Date: 03 July 2010.  Location:  Vallecito, CA.  Name of Event:  Hernia Hills  a.k.a. Half From Hell!  Time It Took To Place Dead Last: 2:37:25

I don’t even know if I want to write about it, so I will just write what comes to mind.

I have many goals and aspirations.  I set my sights and bars high, probably too high in the opinion of many.  However, I expect a lot from myself, and I am the hardest on myself when it comes to punishment and self-berrating.  I expect myself to do well, and to produce results … All.  The.  Time.

So what happens when my goals aren’t reached or fall short?  I can honestly say that I do beat myself up internally.  It’s difficult for me not to.  It wasn’t even a “bad” time … just a slow one, and I finished!  Com’mon, Row., what the hell?  Can’t you just be happy with that?  That run was difficult to say the least, but you were out there, you did your best, and you finished.  End of story.  There was no “DNF” by your name … there was a time!

I know.  I know.  I know.  I get that.  I understand it.  I should not be ashamed.  I should be proud of myself, and I am.  I am very proud of myself.  To be my age and to still look as good as I do, to be in the shape that I am in, and to be as fit and healthy as I am … I get it.  But … but … but … there’s always a “but.”  There are those who were not out there, didn’t even try, laughed at the name of the race.  There are those who literally sat on their couch, or laid in bed while YOU were out there, Row.  There are those who can only wish that they could attempt to do what you do.  There are those who wish that they could walk, or sit up, or let alone move a finger, breathe on their own.  What you accomplished was AMAZING, Row.   Let it be, Row.  Leave it alone.  Let it go …

Dead Last Finish is greater than Did Not Finish, which trumps Did Not Start.

There should be no tears.  There is no crying.  You finished with a time … End.  Of.  Story.