Since late April, I’ve been training for the Hamptons Marathon.
For a long time, that marathon seemed so far away. I focused my energy each week on my weekday runs and my weekend long run. I never really thought much about the actual marathon. The training was what mattered most immediately, so that’s what I paid the most attention to.
But now, it’s September.
It’s Marathon Month.
I can no longer say I “just started training for a marathon” or “I’m running a marathon next month.”
I’m running my first marathon in three friggin’ weeks.
Needless to say my emotions are kicking into overdrive at this point. Yesterday, during an email exchange with my brother about the night before the marathon, I started crying. For no reason.
I can’t stop picturing the race. I am completely distracted 100 percent of the time because I’m in Marathon Mode.
Do you want to hear more about my inner crazies and the voices inside my head?
OK. Let’s talk about that.
I’m feeling ANXIOUS. September 24 is three weeks away, which at times feels like it’s right around the corner and other times feels like it’s still a far-off date. Part of me wants another full month to train but another, bigger part of me wants to run this thing tomorrow.
I’m feeling NERVOUS. Uh, yeah. Obviously. I think this is the strongest emotion I’m feeling right now. I’m nervous my stomach won’t be in strong shape on race day. I’m nervous I won’t sleep the night before the race. I’m nervous I’ll forget something. I’m nervous I won’t see my friends and family along the race course and then I’ll get sad and frustrated. I’m nervous I won’t be able to stick with my goal pace. I’m nervous about the course. I’m nervous about hills. I’m nervous I’ll get a cramp mid-run. I’m nervous I’m not going to make everyone proud.
So yeah. I’m kind of nervous.
I’m feeling DISTRACTED. It’s amazing I’m able to get work done during the day. All I really want to be doing is reading other peoples’ marathon recaps from their first 26.2 experiences (send me your links, people!) and I want to talk to anyone who will listen about training.
I’m feeling PREPARED. I feel like people always tell marathoners, “Trust your training” on race day. I need to remember that. I have put in the work. Some of my training runs have been incredible and others haven’t. There was that gloriously pleasant 18-miler in Central Park, after which I felt strong and confident. Then there were all those weekday runs, especially recently, where I’m pretty sure I spent more time darting for bathrooms than monitoring my Garmin.
But at this point, the training is almost done. After tomorrow’s 20-miler, I will begin to taper so that my body is fresh and recovered by race day.
I know I have it in me to bang out 26.2 miles. Trust your training, Ali. Coach Cane has you ready for this.
I’m feeling EXCITED. Obviously, right? I’m going to run a marathon! I read so many running blogs from people who are awesome and have run like 100 marathons. Those people aren’t average. They’re way above that.
I find myself forgetting that running a marathon isn’t an easy, every-day achievement. Most people will not run a marathon in their lifetime. I will, though. And I’m pumped about that. I can’t wait to get to the race, I’m psyched about the pre-run energy and adrenaline and I know I can’t prepare myself for the rush I’ll get when I cross the finish line.
I’m feeling FOCUSED. Last night I took a spinning class. What a waste. I didn’t push very hard anyway, because I wanted my legs to start recovering before tomorrow’s run.
I basically sat on the bike the whole time thinking about running. I only want to run. I think that’s what Coach Cane wanted me to say from Day 1. I’m just getting around to the realization now that running > other things that aren’t running.
I’m feeling SAD. I have absolutely loved training for this race. Everyone I talked to beforehand — who had been there — was like, “Marathon training takes over your life” and blah blah…shut up. Marathon training is cool. I never minded staying in on a Friday night. I rarely minded waking up at the ass-crack of dawn on a Saturday. I certainly never minded stuffing my face with every carbohydrate I could find.
I’ve learned so much throughout the training progress. I’ve done things I never thought I was capable of. Things, in fact, that my doctor told me I wasn’t capable of. Well suck it, doctor, because I’m going to prove you so wrong. And then I’ll march in and pay that $40 co-pay just to let you see my medal.
But yeah, I’m sad. I like marathon training a lot. I hope Coach Cane wants to be my friend after the race.
I’m feeling HUMBLED. Running the Hamptons Marathon has never just been about completing the race. Since getting selected as a Run For The Rabbit participant, it’s also been a fundraising competition.
I’m raising money for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America because Crohn’s disease is a whore that needs to be exterminated. Basically. That’s the short version. And the classy one.
After a hugely successful fundraising event at JackRabbit Sports, plus a current giveaway and lots of other initiatives still in the works, I’m feeling so gracious. The support that my friends, family and total strangers have shown me is mind-blowing. Fundraising over the past four months has truly restored my faith in humanity. (I lost it that time a total stranger on the subway asked me if I was wearing underwear. I freaked out on him. And then faith in humanity = lost. Sorry Mom, for sharing that story. NYC is totally safe though.)
I will be raising money for CCFA right up until race day. I want to win this competition. There are prizes for the winners, and rumor has it the prizes include a trip to Napa Valley and a trip to Hawaii. I would like that very much…
I’m feeling PROUD. Regardless of what happens on race day, I’m proud that I was chosen out of 350 applicants for Run For The Rabbit. I’m proud of the effort I’ve put forth and I’m proud of my unwavering dedication to my cause and to my training.
The next few weeks are going to be a little crazy, I predict. I’ll probably cry a lot in anticipation, because I’m a basket case. I’ve already issued a pre-apology to my very patient, very kind, very understanding boyfriend. “Don’t judge me!” I basically begged.
He mostly looked a little nervous and said, “Thanks for warning me.” I also politely asked him to keep dating me, and he offered up a smile. I’ll take it. I’ll also take a kiss at the finish line, thank you.
In non-running (so, non-important) news, my mom raised with that silly rule that you can only wear white between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Damn her. I hate that rule but can’t bring myself to break it. So I plan on wearing a lot of white between now and Monday.
Now back to thinking about running…
MAKE ME FEEL BETTER: Share with me your running crazies. That will help.