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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Kick the “I Can’t”

This wasn’t the post I intended on writing, but apparently I needed to write it since it’s what came out of my fingers/brain.  I’m totally overwhelmed with things going on this week and needed to remind myself that I can get things accomplished.  I had a terrible run last night and between work (we have a huge event Saturday), marathon training, and just life in general, I think I might be bald by Monday.  I’m pretty sure my face can’t pull off the Britney Spears look.

Something I hear come out of my mouth way more than I care to admit (especially weeks like this when there’s not enough hours in the day) is “I can’t…”  I can’t do this, I can’t do that, blah blah blah… I have so many things that I want to do but have never done because “I can’t”.  After Sunday’s long run, I had the realization that unless I have some physical impairment, which thankfully I don’t, I should be able to do anything I put my mind to.  I may not be great at it, but who cares?

One of my favorite quotes of all time!

If you would have asked me a year ago if I would ever be able to run 20+ miles, I would have looked at you like you were crazy and then I would have spit out something like this: “Oh, I can’t do that because I injured my knee a while back”.  Oh boy, have I used that excuse WAY to much. Well luckily I came to my senses sometime over the past year and something amazing happened.  I was able to do something I “couldn’t” do.  Yippee! (Side note – I’m certainly not telling you to ignore an injury; just don’t use it as a crutch like I did.)

But I really started wondering.  Just how many times have I cheated myself out of something amazing because I told myself I couldn’t do it? Honestly, I have the type of personality that if I don’t do something well the first time or don’t see instant results, I chock it up as lost.  Call it fear of failure.  I sometimes get so scared of failing that I convince myself I can’t do ‘x-y-z’.  Seriously? With that type of mentality, it’s amazing that I’m not living in a plastic bubble, quivering at the sight of my own shadow.

I am happy to say that I’ve noticed the older I get the less I worry about failing and the less I hear “I can’t” come out of my mouth.  I’m pretty happy with myself and I actually tend to embrace my imperfections and have fun with life.  If I can’t keep up with the big dogs, I can at least entertain them, right?!  Maybe by the time I get into my 30s I’ll have life figured out.  Probably not.

So why am I sharing this? In hopes that you realize you can be amazing.  There isn’t anything you can’t achieve with the proper amount of work.  I have some goals in my sights for 2013 (like a triathlon) that I’m going to have to set aside the “I cant”s in order to accomplish.  So we’ll see if I can stay true to myself and kick the “I can’t”s out of my life.  As far as the rest of my chaotic weekend goes, if do lose all my hair, I’ll make sure to post some pictures!

Question:  Have you ever told yourself you can’t do something only to surprise yourself later on when you did it?

MCM Training Fears

One more week.  Seven full days.  168 hours until I pass the point of no return.  I have all of my affairs in order and in the event of my demise I would like to will all of my earthly fortune to go to…  What?! You think I’d actually tell you who stands to benefit from my death? Yeah, no.

Seriously though, I start training for the marathon next week. While I’m not worried about the intensity of the plan until week 10 (jumps to an 18 mile long run), I do have some fears about the training in general.  BUT by recognizing these concerns and being proactive about them, I’ll be more likely to avoid them.

1. Training in the heat.  Living in South Mississippi where the temps soar above 90 and the percentage of humidity parallels the heat, most runners cut their distances dramatically from June – September.  The ideal marathon training months down here are November – April.  In order to not cook my internal organs I’ll be running at night during the week and getting up on Saturday between 3:30 – 4:00 am to meet my running buddies for the long run.  I will also be consuming liquids like a drunken sailor (only with water instead of rum).

This is from a very sweaty 5 mile run last Tuesday…103 heat index. YOWZA!

2. Injury.  Because I’ve already torn my MCL (knee injury) once I’m really worried about tweaking it again.  The worst thing I can imagine is to train for so many months and then not be able to run because I was dumb.  Nope. Not happening.  I will become a foam rolling fool and commit to doing yoga after each long run and several times during the week.  I will also listen to my body and back off if necessary.

P.S. this is TERRIBLE yoga form. I was starting to tip over because Jody had me laughing…

3. Weight loss.  For most people this is a benefit of training.  For me, it’s a big concern.  My BMI is already over a full percentage underweight.  If I lose more weight I risk amenorrhea  among other issues.  Weight loss seems like it would be an easy thing to not let happen but because I’m a clean eater my food choices are naturally low in calories.  I find myself eating constantly just to maintain my current weight.  I am committing to myself to be more conscious of my food choices and eat more calorie dense foods.  Did someone say cheesecake?! Holla!

4. Lost time with Jody.  My husband is the most important person to me (sorry Mom & Dad) and I don’t want to sacrifice any time together.  With both of us working full time and in school full time, we are already so limited and now I’m taking even more time away from us.  So I promise to ‘carpe diem’ it with him whenever possible! Maybe even talk him into doing some training runs with me. (Alright, probably not. He’s smarter than that.)

Love this guy!!

Ok, sorry about the long post… The next one will be shorter – promise!