Apparently, my marathon training begins this week. So, my friend tells me at least.
It's not like I didn't know it was coming. However, I was kind of hoping it was a bit further off. Sure I've been "kind of" running. Nothing serious. Nothing planned. Just a run here or there. To keep moving. To keep my feet going. Forward. It's not been easy. But, I've been trying to run free. Relaxed. No pressure.
I guess I've been avoiding actually focusing on this upcoming training. I guess I'm scared. Duh. No shit. It's me we are talking about. We all know by now I'm a marathon scardy cat. We know my history: Signed up and trained for two Chicago Marathons only to break 3/4 of the way through and never made it to the start line. Epic cheerleader instead. Always the bridesmaid. With a damn ugly dress.
So, yes, I try a third time. Sadly, I turned in my Chicago dream for a smaller race. It's in my hometown. It's on my running trails and paths. I could literally stop and use my bathroom along the race course (and may depending how well my stomach behaves!). I won't have a million of people cheering me along like Chicago. In fact there certainly will be long stretches of NOBODY cheering. I'm not sure if that's good or bad.
I need the support. I value the support. I couldn't run a single mile without thinking about somebody in my life who supports my silly running journey. Whether it's the co-worker who got me started a few years ago, or my daily texting buds who lift me up in not only running, but also life, or my little running cheerleaders who no matter what seem to always be in my corner. Those cheerleaders send me words of encouragement at the most opportune moments. It's like they know. They all matter to me. Every last one. Hell, if I'm going to climb Mt. Everest I'm going to need some sherpas. Thankfully, I've got the very best.
It's funny, people come and go. Friends change over time. Some of my biggest supporters while training for the last two marathons are long gone. So strange to think people who were so very important to me at a much needed time no longer exist in my life. Kind of makes me a bit sad. Some have sped off to faster pastures, leaving me in their trail dust. That's ok. I may not be speedy. But, I'm on my own little journey. Slow and steady.
However, a few have been along for the entire ride. (Park's closed, moose outside should have told you) I am so very grateful to them. They will never know how very grateful. Truth.
I have no clue what I'm doing. Seriously. So, I grab the super novice training plan. I take a deep breath. I do it the best that I can with my crazy work schedule. I change up the days a bit. I run my long runs mid week if I have to. I run outside at 11 pm. Oh dear Lord I'll get up once or twice at the crack of dawn and get my bitchy self through some run before work. I skip a short run from time to time because, well, just because. Because of life. Because I want to have fun instead. Because my brain needs a break. Just ....because.
But, I will give it my best. I will try. I will certainly cry. I will puke. I will feel overwhelmed. I will freak out that I'm about to break. But, through it all it will be that little text. That random message. The stranger running by me telling me I'm looking great on my run. My niece telling me that she's proud of me. Perhaps someone will actually come cheer me on race day. Or run with me when I want to quit. It all. Matters. Every little bit.
Inhale calm. Exhale fear.
Relentless. Forward. Motion.
Here we go......