My three remaining long runs include:
I'll probably try to do 16.5, since I did 15 last weekend and will try to split the difference between 15 and my next long run, which is...
I'll be doing this the Saturday morning of Labor Day weekend. Afterwards, I will be heading directly to the airport (without passing "Go" and without collecting $200) to fly to North Carolina for vacation. I'll have to start this run even earlier than usual to make sure that I have enough time to stretch and, more importantly, shower before getting on the plane. Otherwise we'll all risk feeling sorry for whoever is sitting next to me during the flight (Adam).
|Let's hope something like this doesn't flash across your TV screens in a few weeks.|
This will be done through the CARA Lakefront 20-Miler. I am excited about this because being in a race-type atmosphere will help make this run a lot easier. Relatively speaking, of course.
Dare I say that I'm actually starting to get excited about doing these final long training runs?
I met up with Erin yesterday morning for another great early-morning run. We ran through Taylor Street, aka Mile 18 of the Chicago Marathon course. She was telling me that the entire street would be lined with tables of GU, water, and Gatorade. I told her that I was sure that after the marathon I would forever associate Taylor Street with replenishment. And not just because of the Little Italy restaurants and the seasonal Italian ice stand (which I desperately need to check out, by the way).
|An oasis in the desert. |
I imagine this to be reminiscent of Taylor Street (aka Mile 18) within the Chicago Marathon course.
(By the way, we also saw them setting up for the Festa Italiana, which I'd never heard about until then. You learn neat things while wandering the neighborhoods at 6:00 AM on a weekday morning!)
On that note, earlier this week I had ridden a bus north on Michigan Avenue between 31st Street and Roosevelt (aka miles 24 through 26 of the Chicago Marathon course). I told Erin about how I had sat on the bus watching the scenery go by, thinking that this is what I will be seeing while wondering if I had any skeletal bones poking out (or something equally painful).
My biggest fear is that I will go through all of this training - nearly a year's worth of training - and that I won't be able to finish the marathon for whatever reason (ANY reason). When blogging was just an idea in the back of my mind, I remember many folks saying that blogging would help friends and family to cheer you on during your journey. They also said that blogging would keep you accountable for staying on track with your training goals. But what they didn't say was that blogging could also open up a lot of potential vulnerabilities if things don't go as planned.
|This is how I accessorize my running wardrobe.|
I've been watching the Olympics. I am reminded day after day how agonizing it must be for these world class athletes to train for years and years and years - then for some to not perform well during the moment of truth on the world's largest stage. I can only imagine the devastation.
I am certainly not comparing myself to an Olympian. But I am reminded of the feeling of working so hard and so long for a goal, but also fearing that it may not come to fruition. Of course, I know that we should not go through life afraid. Being fearful makes you react differently, makes you see things differently, changes your perspective, limits you from your true potential. But it is hard for me to comprehend this magnitude of a goal without any inkling of doubt.
I do also know that life will go on regardless of whether I'm able to complete this goal or not. If I can't complete it on the first try, there are always opportunities to try again in the future. There's no shame in any of that, right?
For now, I am enjoying how much progress I've made in the last year. I am also working hard to visualize myself crossing that finish line - I already get tears in my eyes when I think about it. And I remind myself through some great advice from experienced marathoners that it's okay to cry. Which I will, no bones about it (whether or not any skeletal bones really are poking out by mile 26!)
There is a reason why I carry a wad of Kleenex the size of my head in my runners' belt, after all. My madness really does have a method. =)
"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."
- John "The Penguin" Bingham