Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Are you afraid of the marathon?

I'm not particularly. But I have been throwing around the word afraid a lot lately. Mainly in reference to a certain 26.2 mile race, the marathon, maybe you've heard of it? I should have been smart and kept my mouth shut, but we all know I'm not very good at that, and if I had I wouldn't have gotten to write this awesome essay for Jack as my "running homework". Basically he caught on to the fact that I was continuously noting how "scared" or "afraid" I was of the marathon and made me face my fears by writing down exactly what my fears were. My guess is it was an attempt to make me face my fears, until I realized I was already facing them.

When I was first given the task, I had a million thoughts running through my head. I wanted to start writing right away. But then I started letting it settle and figured it would be the perfect thing to think about on Saturday's long run. I talked about it with Katie, I talked about it with my mom, I talked about it with Boyfriend, and I thought about it when I ran alone.

I really like running, I can finish a half marathon, it's just that extra 13.1 that has me feeling a little nervous. It has a lot to do with my disappointment in my prior performance. It has a lot to do with my asthma and feeling like I would never be as fast as I used to be. It has a lot to do with me always being hard on myself and always thinking I can do better, push harder, run faster.

And then yesterday, on a solo five miler on the quiet streets of my hometown, it hit me. Yes I was sometimes afraid, yes I realize I have to adjust my goals for this race, and yes I have to deal with my asthma. But I was already two weeks deep in training, I was working with a totally different coach, I had built up a great base running all year long, and the pure and simple fact that I had signed up and committed myself to this race was proof that I wasn't so scared after all.

I need this race to prove to myself that 26.2 is not that scary. It will not chew me up and spit me back out barely alive. I will not need to quit running for months afterwards I will not get burnt out. I will train smart. I will race smart. And when Philadelphia is over I will keep going.

xx Sara

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