There is no I in marathon.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted- I’m so sorry for this. Between my job(s), training, fundraising, event planning, general life-living, I’ve barely had a moment to pee.
The last you heard from me as far as marathon training goes, I got injured. Since then, I have been nursing a temperamental IT Band and just trying to get through the weekly long run requirements in “relative comfort”. Needless to say, I’ve been feeling a little defeated and slightly nervous about Marathon Monday, which at this point is just 6 days away. I am starting to doubt whether I’ve done enough, question my nutrition and apparel, wondering if I should have done this or I should have done that.
Luckily, as a third-time marathoner, I understand that these feelings, while completely frustrating, are totally normal. We all have those nightmares- the ones where you wake up late and miss the start of the race, or the ones where you start running only to realize you’re running in your underwear… ok, maybe I’m the only one who has that dream, but they’re all frightening just the same!
What helps me to get through these moments of doubt is remembering why I am doing this in the first place.
I remember the exact moment that inspired me to change. The exact moment. It was a beautiful spring day in June of 2008. I’d just returned home from college and was asked to sing the National Anthem at a North Shore Navigators game. I was excited to sing, but the excitement soon turned to devastation when I could not find a dress in my closet that fit. I tried on dress after dress and nothing would zip. I stood in front of the mirror and I cried for a long time. I could finally see the reality of what I’d become- I’d become all of those nights of binge eating. I’d become all of those days of sleeping and not being able to get out of bed. I’d become 220lbs and almost unrecognizable to my family and friends. I knew right there that I needed to change.
We all have those reasons why we run, those invisible teammates, and when we reach those walls on race day, remembering those reasons are why we are able to continue. As much as running is an individual sport, it really ISN’T. Training and finishing a marathon is something that you cannot accomplish alone. It’s the inspiration of others that help push us through those physical and mental barriers.
So, as I contemplate my training mistakes and weigh the shoulda-coulda-woulda’s of the last 5 months, I think about the sources that have inspired me to do this in the first place- I think about my teammates. And when I do, there is no doubt in the world that can keep me from finishing.