In exactly 8 days, I will be nervously bouncing at the starting line in San Diego. And...as I am sitting here waiting for the ibuprofen to kick in so that I can go out for my last weekend run of my training, I am beginning to feel the first waves of anxiety hit. What if my knee gives out? What if this awful pain in my shin gets worse? What if my lungs decide they've had enough? The body is such an unreliable and finicky machine and after the hell I've put it through the last couple of months, what if it decides to revolt? 26.2 miles is long and it still scares me! After all, the most I've run is 21. I'm no fool and I know those last 5 miles will be excruciating.
Right now, my mom would be telling me to repeat positive thoughts out loud..."I can do this." "26 miles is easy." "I am strong!" This was a familiar scene in our relationship. I would just roll my eyes. It's just not me. Don't get me wrong. I am not a negative person. In fact, I am actually very positive. I believe in myself. But, I call it like it is and when the pain is bad, I say it.
When I ran the Whiskey Half Marathon a few weeks ago, I spent a few minutes of the hardest part of the race (about mile 5) running alongside a very friendly and, in my opinion, inappropriately happy guy. We had been climbing this mountain for the last 45 minutes and I felt like I was going to die. He knew I was in pain because, well frankly, I kept saying how much this race sucked! This annoyingly happy guy just started repeating over and over, "This mountain is our friend. This feels great. Yeah! Yeah!Yeah! I love this!" Ugh! That was enough for me. Way too much positivity. I had to break away and find other haters to run with (wasn't hard!). I know. I am a sports psychologist's worst nightmare.
I know that 26.2 miles is hard. If it weren't, more than one tenth of one percent of the US population would have run a marathon.
I've done the training and I have a cause.
Now, I will just need my body to hang tough for 4 hours on the pavement.
And, maybe I'll say a few positive affirmations along the way...just for Mom.