Confession: I didn’t go to work yesterday.
All week — OK, all year? — I’ve been overly stressed about many things, most of which stem from my involvement with Run For The Rabbit.
Training with JackRabbit and Coach Cane for the Hamptons Marathon has been the experience of a lifetime. I feel so fortunate to have had a coach to guide me through training for my first marathon, since I definitely would have over-done it all and been wildly injured by now if I had gone about this process on my own.
I also feel extremely blessed, honored and grateful to have raised more than $8,000 so far for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America.
But it’s a lot to handle, on top of having a full-time job, friends, family and a sink that seems to be constantly overflowing with dirty dishes.
Obviously marathon training is time consuming, and the training part doesn’t stress me out. Running is my release from everything else. I get to be alone. I get to not check emails. I get to ignore people for a while. It’s perfect.
So yesterday I woke up, freaked out about life and decided I needed a day out of the office to play catch up and to relax.
And that’s what I did.
I slept in and then went for a 6-mile run. I think it was a tempo run because Coach Cane told me to do a 1-mile warm-up, 4 miles at my marathon goal pace and then a 1-mile cool-down. It was great. I felt good, I felt strong and I feel ready as ever to run this marathon in — holy crap — 8 days.
My day involved sending lots of emails, cleaning and making a few field trips.
I went to the New York Road Runners offices — conveniently located just a few blocks away from home — to pick up my bib for tomorrow’s Fitness 4-Mile race.
I saw a really, really big dog on my walk.
The owner saw me take his picture and a guy standing next to me waiting to cross the street asked, “Does the dog look big in the picture?”
I keep saying that I’m excited for tomorrow’s race because I won’t actually be racing it. I’m running it with a coworker — and first-time racer! — and I’m not sure what her pace is but I’m fairly certain (and hoping) it’s not a 7:45.
When I picked up my bib, though, I got a little giddy.
That, my friends, is a red bib. It’s the second time I’ve had a red bib. That means I’m in the second starting corral. That, to me, is kind of a big deal. That means I’m up with the speedy people.
Then I got sad. I got a feeling of wanting to race.
I’ve never raced “for fun.” I pretty much always go out there wanting to run my best race and hoping for a PR. If I happen to have a good time, that’s great. But I’m competitive. I don’t typically shell out for a race entry fee unless I’m planning to show up at the start line with my game face on.
Game face and legwarmers, of course.
I realized yesterday, as I walked home from the NYRR offices pouting about not getting to run as fast as freakin’ possible tomorrow due to that whole marathon-is-a-week-away thing, that most of the stress and pressure I feel is self-inflicted.
Over the past few weeks, it seems that all of my runner friends have been asking me the same two questions:
- What is your goal time for the marathon?
- Are you hoping to break four hours?
I know that these questions are asked innocently. And yet they stress me out beyond belief.
This is my first attempt at running 26.2 miles. I don’t want to feel like I have to impress anyone. I want to run a hard race, of course, and I want to make Coach Cane proud. But I don’t want to think anyone is expecting me to run a 3:something marathon.
I just want to finish the thing. Whether I do that in 4:30 or 3:59, I just want it to happen.
I know it’s ridiculous to stress out over people asking simple, polite questions. I’m pretty sure no one will actually care whether I finish in 4 hours of less. But I guess I care a little bit. This whole “I have a blog and will inevitably write a recap after the race” thing makes me want to push just a little harder every day.
I’m also putting pressure on myself to win the fundraising competition.
As important as it is that I work hard to run a good race, it’s also important to me that I’ve done everything I can to send a big ol’ check over to CCFA when this is all over.
Right now I’m in third place. The love and support people have shown me as I’ve fundraised has blown my mind. I am eternally grateful to everyone who has donated and I’m so appreciative for all the emails, Facebook posts and comments with well wishes.
But of course, in my mind, third place isn’t quite good enough. If I can cross that finish line on September 24 knowing I’ve completed a marathon and raised more than $10,000 for my favorite charity, I think I can die happy.
So that’s that. I feel pressure to run fast and I feel pressure to raise money. KA-POW.
After spending most of yesterday being a panicky little witch, I am much calmer today.
Maybe that’s because I went to a party at The Bowery Hotel last night with some surfers. And also Misha Barton, AKA Marissa Cooper.
Apparently the party was a big deal and there were lots of important surfer dudes there. I loved it.
Another thing I loved? Not drinking, ordering delivery macaroni and cheese when I got home and sleeping for six glorious hours.
Last winter, I was going out drinking most Thursday nights. Friday mornings almost always meant a hangover that would kick in right around the time I’d sit down at my desk and an absolutely-necessary bacon, egg and cheese sandwich for breakfast.
I even had a designated hangover outfit, which made rough mornings just a little easier.
Today I’m wearing that same hangover outfit, but I feel a million times better than I did a few months ago.
I vowed not to drink for the weeks leading up to the race and I feel pretty good.
Another confession: I got busted while taking this photo in the office bathroom this morning. Hehe.
Those are my ramblings for today.
Check back tomorrow when I will most likely post 1,000 photos of my cute coworker running her first race. As sad as I am not to be acting like I belong in the red corral, I am ridiculously pumped to be there when she crosses the finish line.
UNDER PRESSURE: I could talk about this topic for days, but I’m curious about your thoughts. Who puts the most pressure on you? Other people? Or do you bring it on yourself?