Guess what I've noticed? I'm getting better and better at talking myself out of pushing hard in my training. I've missed a few runs. Throughout the training, I've done my makeup less during the week, I've made less-than-inspiring dinners, and my appetite needs a kick in the pants most days to get me eating enough. That's just kind of interesting to notice.
But guess what else? I don't feel daunted by miles. My 20 tomorrow? Yeah, that's big, but I'm excited. It's cool. And I want to do it. I do get nervous when I think about the upcoming marathon! My innards curdle with adrenaline (ew!) every time I think about it. It's unpleasant, even though it's a good kind of nervous, so I'm actually not thinking about it too much. Ugh! I'm familiar with this nervousness! It makes me smile, and it makes me giggle a little bit sometimes, and it makes it hard to hold still OR I can hold still like a mannequin. Adrenaline feels so nasty to me, sliming around and bunching up in my stomach. But it means something exciting is coming! A swim meet, a harp performance, a talk in church (I do like giving those), or travelling somewhere...I'm probably going to register for a sooner marathon (a week earlier than my training schedule puts it) because I just feel so eager to DO IT and BE DONE! Woooo! Oh yeah, and the sooner one is closer in location and almost half the price to register. :)
Ugh, time to stop talking about it. My stomach!
I started doing yoga recently, just a weekly class. I LOVE it! I wish I'd been doing this all along! Yoga is awesome. I love everything about it, even the parts that are easy to make fun of (you know, all the inner peace, toxins release, opening up stuff). I feel comfortable learning yoga; I'm not bad, I'm not even that good, but I love it. And my core definitely needs the strengthening, sheesh! Having kids sure takes it out of you!
Okay, I think that was enough of a break for my stomach that I can briefly conclude here. ;) I have really loved training for a marathon. I just have a few weeks left, and I feel so glad that I have stuck to it. It will be really nice to be done! I'll love having more choice, control and variety with my daily workouts. But it's good for the soul to be dedicated and disciplined in focusing on a long-term goal. It's a little bit hard to summarize my motivation for doing a marathon... but I can try.
- I suppose there is a little part of me that is doing this to prove that I can. I don't like putting it that way, because I don't feel like anyone is asking me to prove myself. And I have never personally doubted my ability to do a marathon...honestly, the training seems harder to me than the actual marathon because it requires commitment. It takes time, persistence, discipline. I needed this because there aren't very many things I do that cover an expanse of time like this. Most of my long-term goals take a lot less concentration and effort, you know? And I firmly believe that a good long-term goal is really good for the spirit and body.
- I have wanted to do this since I was 11 or 12 years old and learned what a marathon is. My sister Liz got engaged to her husband when I was that age, and I found out that Pat had run a marathon. When I found out what that meant, he practically became my idol. In my mind, it was equal to climbing Mount Everest. It was a heroic feat. It was something superhuman, and yet it was possible--so possible that some people just do it! So I knew I had to do it someday. The idea had an instant spot on my Bucket List.
- Running is hard. I love what running does for me; I love the time alone in my head, and I love the feeling of escaping the daily grind in a way that makes me more prepared to face the daily grind when I'm finished. But running is so hard for me. I am not built for it, and I have bad hips that sometimes force me to walk instead of even jog. So while maintaining some rationality as to how hard I ought to push my body, I aim to "master" running at least in such a way that I own it, and it doesn't own me. I guess that's the way I face hard things.
- This is as much a physical challenge as an emotional/mental challenge. I am such an emotional person. Things can get tricky and tangled if I don't comb through my thoughts and take the chance to flush out my feelings. And there are not so many ways that I can do that in a very complete, satisfying manner. You got it, running is one of those ways. But it's not all thoughtful pondering; it often turns into a bitter game that I don't want to play but that I must play! The game of winning! The game of mind over body! The game that would be so much easier if I just let my body stay in charge...the mental challenge to override all negative thoughts and let my positive thinking become the power that drives my body is the real challenge behind all of this. It is what makes the marathon.
- And one last reason that I've discovered during this process: my hips' endurance is getting better. That is a huge blessing I didn't expect. I even wondered if this would make my hips worse. They still hurt and get tired and very sore, but they last longer each time before they start to wear down.
I'm looking forward to the grueling 20-mile run tomorrow. Even if ends up being a run-jog-walk-shuffle. I am so ready to do it.