The Elusive Marathon

6 years of running, 2 years of competing, 4 half marathons, and more 10k’s, 8k’s, and 5k’s than i can think about .. and here i am, on my taper waiting for THAT event. the one that everyone talks about. the one that everyone says is the be all and end all of running … the inevitable event if you’re a runner. but why? why is it inevitable?

my running career has been relatively short and has transcended through many stages – all of which i’ve been extremely blessed and happy with, despite the minor setbacks. i’ve always been a methodical person – goal oriented – taking my running one step at a time.

How i jumped from half marathons to a marathon in a year escapes me.

Now, 2006 is coming to an end. what have i accomplished? well, it’s been a year of the highest high’s and the lowest low’s. I started off the year in fantastic racing shape and i met some really great people with whom I have been fortunate enough to train .. i was running PB’s in the beginning of the year and getting my best half marathon time in February. The months following, my times suffered and i was hit with injury, setting me back more than i was prepared for. Regardless, i plodded along, persevering, and my fitness is close to where i was last year some time, i think. i hope.

My confidence has wavered many a time in the past few months and the marathon is looming. I am fully aware that marathons are a much larger undertaking and i hope i am up to the challenge. i have to be.

Of course I have a goal time .. but I have a feeling, that during this journey of 26.2 miles, it will escape me – I won’t even see the time on my watch.

It will be tough. It will be long. And it will hurt. I mean, REALLY hurt. But I know that I will continue. This marathon business is a mental battle, you see. What it doesn’t know is that I can beat it. When my foot crosses that finish line at whatever time it may be .. as i stumble across that timing mat .. i know i will be done. i will fall into the arms of my support system – my friends, my coaches, my training partners .. physically, mentally, and emotionally. And as I start to gain mental clarity among the winces of pain, I will know one thing, as a moment of elation overwhelms me from my very core. A smile will creep across my face. It’s over. And I’ve beaten it. It didn’t beat me. Really, it never had a chance.

As for afterwards … will I go against this beast again? Let’s wait til afterwards … when I can walk again.

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