Wow, never thought I would get to this side of marathon training. At least not without injury (knock on an entire forest). This past Saturday I completed my final 20 miler. Upright and grumpy, but done all the same. Of course I was soaked to my skin and frozen. But hey, I managed to complete two 18+ milers and two 20 milers and not die. That’s a first for me. Better yet, I didn’t hurt myself. During my heroic downfall towards the end of spring training, I told myself daily that I was tapering and still planning on doing the marathon. After coming to the realization that I couldn’t walk without my knee popping and screaming in pain, the marathon was not a good idea. Angry? You bet. But the truth of the matter was, I never got more than one 18 miler in and I really wasn’t ready. I had done the training, but half heartedly. I still was expecting to lose tons of weight and just coast my way to a marathon. Kinda like I did with my first half marathon last year.
Now as I enter my tapering for real, I know I am really ready. I know this because I am actually annoyed that I can’t run as much. My last few runs have been some of the best, no matter the weather. I find my comfortable pace and gait and can gallop away for hours. I am getting faster without trying and better at responding to my body’s needs on the run. My times are drastically improving as well as my running form. I am lighter, but mostly I am stronger. I feel strong and confident that I can finish this marathon as a whole person and not as an injured one.
My problem now is easing up. I love running all over again and want to do more. I live for the long distances. My peak miles are between 12-16 miles. That is when I feel my best. As I start decreasing I know my irritability will be increasing. I already dread for my family and close friends. Sometimes I hide much of my grumpiness in silence and feel bad that everyone has to put up with me. Even though I have two more half marathons on my plate before the full, I know I will still feel restless. My only hope is to mix up my weekday trainings to distract me from the lesser milage on the weekends. My Saturday adventures may be shorter, but I can still enjoy them. I’ll try to hit the park and trails more during the week so that I don’t feel so confined at my normal cemetery running grounds. As the countdown to the marathon begins (33 days) I can only hope to make it there in one piece and ready to finish. I’v trained for 10 months now and really would like to finally finish a marathon. Getting to the start line would be great, but getting to the finish line would be even better.
~Thanks for listening~