Marathon Fears

Let me just start by saying it’s a good thing I already had this post written and apologize for the lack of pictures… Last night was a horrible run; I haven’t been so upset in a long time. This run was against my better judgment since I was home sick (i.e. resting) yesterday.  However I didn’t want to have a missed run and I also wanted to visit my brother one more time before leaving for DC so we decided to run to the National Cemetery.  We  got there, I said hello to my brother and snapped a few pictures – like I ALWAYS do.  However, some jerk security guard came over and started yelling at me.  Told me that I couldn’t be there, take pictures, etc.  I told him I was visiting my brother (you could see realization wash over his face) and that I always take pictures when I come out.  He said that they don’t allow runners or walkers in the cemetery.

I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve run this route and have NEVER had anyone say anything to me; he explained he was ‘just doing his job’.  By the time I left the cemetery, I was so upset, hurt, embarrassed, pissed off.  This is my favorite route to run.  When I need to clear my head, I grab my tennis shoes and head to visit my brother.  I came home and just fell apart (thankfully I have an amazing hubby) over what happened.  I really felt like he was telling me I couldn’t visit my brother again.  So that’s my explanation behind the lack of visual aids in this post.  I really had no energy to do anything last night.

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Before I get into my fears about this upcoming marathon.  I figured I’d do a short recap on my fears that I had about training.  (Click the link if you want to refresh your memory.) I really only had 4 major concerns when it came to training for my first 26.2 and they were:

  1. Training in the heat. Considering I’m still here writing posts for you, I guess that means that I didn’t die during summer training.  Although there were some runs where I felt like I would just keel over if I went one step further.  With a heat index that ran way into the 100s for the first 3 months of training, it was difficult but I feel so much stronger now that the heat has started to subside.
  2. Injury. Hallelujah – nothing to report there! Although some of my fellow blogger friends training for the MCM weren’t so fortunate. (Don’t call it a come back, call it a come better Abby Land!)
  3. Weight loss. This was a very real fear, too, and I’m happy to report that I actually gained weight during my training.  I don’t own a scale but I can tell in my face and the way my clothes fit me.
  4. Lost time with Jody. This is the only fear that kind of  came true. I took every opportunity possible to spend time with him but there was one mini-vacation to Houston that I missed out on.  It was the weekend of my 21 mile run and I knew there was no way I could run 21 miles anywhere in the middle of Houston.

So now that I recapped my training fears.  Here’s a list of my actual marathon fears:

  1. Getting sick.  I was up Monday night sick to my stomach so I took a partial sick day from work to rest up.  If you remember, I got the same sick to my stomach feeling during Thursday’s run.  I’m pumping my vitamins and hydrating like crazy in hopes to nip whatever this is in the butt.
  2. Following up on #1 is my period.  Sorry to any of my fella readers but can I get some sympathy points from you ladies?  Mother Nature has a wicked sense of humor so I’ll actually be on my period during the race. Well play Mother Nature….Well played.
  3. The unexpected.  Since this is my first marathon, I really have no idea what to expect.  I know what it takes to run 21 miles at an easy pace but I have no clue what running 26.2 miles at race pace is going to do to my body.  I know I’ll be sore and tired but I’m hoping that I won’t come home with any injuries.
  4. Race day misadventures.  i.e. Making sure I get to the start of the race on time.
  5. Disappointment.  Out of everything I’m worried about, this actually tops the list.  I have no doubt that I can run the 26.2 miles that I signed up for but I worry about not being able to finish in the time I trained for.  I worry about disappointing myself but more-so I worry about disappointing everyone that’s been pulling for me and encouraging me during these past few months.  I know that’s just me being silly, but because this race is for my brother, I feel even more pressure to succeed.  That pressure comes from no one but myself; I’m guilty of creating these preconceived ideals to try to live up to.  Realistically, I’m the only person that I can disappoint.

Question:  Do you place unreasonable expectations on yourself?

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27 thoughts on “Marathon Fears

  1. First off, what a jerk security guard! I know he was doing his job, but it’s so strange you’ve never had problems before, hmmm …

    Although I’ve never trained or run a marathon, I think your apprehensions are normal, Gina. During my final triathlon of the season, Mother Nature played an evil trick on me too; I was so peeved, ha! Anyway, in terms of the unexpected, I’ve read a ton of articles that say for a marathon, the race “starts” at mile 20, and that’s when your training kicks in. It will be a mental battle to the end, but you’ve logged your miles, built your endurance, and you *know* you can run 26.2, which makes a world of difference. I’m sure you’re all over this, but for race-day misadventures, I would totally make a checklist and timetable and budget each hour 48 hours prior to the race. Maybe it’s too much, but I know having a schedule with directions, phone numbers, etc., would make me feel much more at ease. Finally, I know you’re hoping to finish within a certain time, but remember it’s your first marathon! Have fun and enjoy it!

    • Thank you Carrie! Isn’t Mother Nature just fabulous?! I’ve heard the same thing about the race starting at mile 20 – which frightens me! I have a checklist but I really like your idea of planning out the prior hours; it totally makes sense and appeals to the OCD part of my personality! Thanks for the great suggestion. 🙂
      PS – I’m ready to battle…Bring on the mental game!

  2. Stupid security guard!!! Sorry that happened to you, but I wouldn’t let it stop you from running to see your brother.

    So last weekend at Nike, I woke up with my period. It sucked but not as bad as I thought it would. I did have to stop at a porta potty, which was a first for me during a race, but the alternative would of not of been good. I would just have an extra pad or tampon with you and hopefully you don’t have bad cramps or leg pain, which is what gets me.

    I am pretty confident you will get to the start line without any trouble.

    I hope you don’t get sick, but you have a couple more days if you do. I will keep my tigers crossed for you.

    Disappointments, well, I can pretty much guarantee you, that no one will be disappointed in you. You have trained well for this race and you will have a fun time and wonderful experience. Run with heart, remember why you are there and do your best. Don’t let those fears get in your way!

    You are strong enough, fast enough, and ready to take it all on and kill it.

    Rock on!

    • Thank you so much for you awesome and encouraging words! I’m so sorry that you got your period during Nike. It’s crazy how how we can plan a race out a year in advance, train months for it, plan for every aspect of the race and then *poof* the one thing that we can’t control happens. UGH!

      As far as getting to the race on time / in one piece, I figure if I follow the crowd of people that look like runners I’ll end up where I need to be. 🙂 Thank you again for the pep talk – I’m ready to take on DC!

  3. Gina, all those fears are perfectly rational except for the last one! Girl, you are going to do a FREAKING MARATHON!! Who cares if you don’t come in at exactly the pace that you want? If you can mostly RUN 26.2 miles, that is something to be super impressed with!! You did all this training to FINISH.. don’t worry about time! 🙂

    • Girl, you know I ❤ you! I know I'm totally guilty of irrational thinking, that's why it's nice to put it out there and admit to it. Thanks so much for all of the encouragement you've thrown my way!

  4. 1.) I was on my period for my full and countless halfs. It’s annoying but everything was still fine!

    2.) I don’t recommend having time goals (personally, for myself) the first time I run any “new” distance because a, any time is a PR, and B, you only get one first marathon, and I really think you should enjoy it and not be worried sick before and during that you won’t reach a time goal. There will always be other races! Don’t make yourself sick before you even get there girl! Trust your training, and have FUN. I would imagine your brother would care way more about you having fun then worrying yourself about a time goal. You will do great!

    • Thanks Heather! That was just one that I didn’t account for. I know it will be fine it’s just terribly aggravating. Thanks for the advice, I know I’m going to have a great time regardless of my finish. 🙂

  5. I WILL COME UP THERE AND KICK THAT SECURITY MAN’S BUTT! I’m sorry he messed up your run boo. And I hope that you’re feeling better. I really like this post because you’re kind of my twin and I have the same fears. I just know you know in your heart why you’re running this race; you have a goal pace I’m sure, but just finishing and doing it for your reasons for your brother are going to be the biggest piece of satisfaction for you. You’re running a whopping 26.2 miles! You trained smart but trained hard! You will kick butt and then you can shove that medal in that offcer’s face and say “BOOYAW!” Love! ❤

    • Kat – Your comment made me totally laugh and cry at the same time! I put my big girl panties on today and feel much better. No beating up of security guards is necessary… 😉 I totally ❤ you!

  6. Trust in your training. You’ve got this. You didn’t spend all that time in the heat every weekend to doubt yourself now.

  7. I am so very sorry that the security guard acted so ridiculously toward you! That is absolutely insane. I feel completely terrible that someone treated you that way!!!! Please don’t let it upset you any longer though. You are way better than that, and there is no one in this world who can take away your special time with your brother! I hope you’re feeling better today and have a fantastic day!! Hugs and love! Xo

    • Thanks Jenna! I feel much better about it today. I was just so shocked at what happened. I know that he has a job to do but it just could have been handled in a much better way. You always have the kindest and most encouraging words to offer! xoxo

  8. First off, a major BOO to the jerk security guard! Secondly, I respect you putting your fears out there like this — as I’m officially just starting my full training, I can’t even verbalize what I’ most nervous about.

    Looking forward to hearing about your race this weekend — YOU’VE GOT THIS. You didn’t train for nothing, and even if you finish 2 minutes after your goal, you’re a freaking marathoner! That’s enough to be proud of. Rock it girl!

    • Well of the times Roger and I ran through the cemetery, I never saw a sign, saying no runners. In the visits to see Roger I again do not recall seeing any signs. So when you need to clear your head, you go visit Roger with your tennis shoes on. Love ya so much and I know that you are going to complete this Run For Roger perfectly. Continue to keep your eye on the prize and finish this race…

      • Thank you so much Dad! I was just so taken aback that I thought he was joking at first but it hit me that he was serious when he said I wasn’t allowed to be there, “only visitors are allowed”. That’s when I told him I was visiting my brother. Thank you so much for all of your support and encouragement; I can’t wait to call you after I’ve finished Running for Roger.

    • Thanks Megan! I love “you’re a freaking marathoner”! I can’t wait until I get to cheer you on just like you have me! 🙂 You’re going to own yours this spring. (Oh, and I have a shout out to ya on Monday’s post.)

  9. Praying for you Gina. I know sometimes are family has perfection issues. All you have to do is your best and that is finishing your goal of Running For Roger and his Marine brothers died. You could never diasappoint me. Remember to cast all your cares, fears, anxieties on Him. PS: Don’t forgert to celebrate your incredible uniqueness on your birthday. Love ya, Mom (By the way give a little grace to the security guard who just doesn’t get it!)

    • How devastating to have to hear that from the security guard just days before you RFR. Don’t let it get you down. You are strong physically, mentally and emotionally and you will be awesome in the race, that’s what you worked so hard for. Relax and enjoy the run not only for Roger but for you on your birthday as well, you can do it!

  10. I can’t believe that security guard was telling you that! I would have been so upset too. If you’ve run there many times without any problems, you should just continue doing that! Don’t let the damn security guard stop you 😉

    I think your marathon fears just turned into my half marathon fears!! Just kidding, kind of…

  11. Oh I am so mad at that security guard! How awful girl! As far as the marathon goes…you got this girl! You are sooo ready! You are going to ROCK it! Just enjoy the race…my friend did it last year and said it is the best marathon ever! All the soldiers there makes it amazing. Just know your brother will be smiling as you run! 🙂

  12. I love reading your blog and I just want to say thank you for sharing your well written thoughts (and fears). I really wish you the best this weekend!

    And that security guard was a real dick!

    • Thanks Ron! I’m so glad you enjoy the blog; it’s just a collection of random thoughts – just like me! Thank you so much for all the well wishes this past weekend – you’re awesome!

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