By the Time You Read This...

So if all is going according to plan, I'm about one hour into my first marathon.  This past week (like much of my experience), I have swung among many different feelings:  from a sense of disbelief to an overwhelming sense of accomplishment to some sense of dread (Mile #20--I'm looking at you!) to a nagging desire to think about what lies beyond (what new running challenge do I want to tackle next?) to whispering anxiety about getting an injury somewhere within all of this.  But such are the thoughts of many of the folks I will be running with.

But in the end, I feel quite ready for this.  I don't think it will be a "jog in the park" as they say.  I anticipate the challenge of running 26.2 miles will be incredibly hard since I did not train as much as I should have (do we ever?) and running 26.2 miles in Vibrams may offer it's own range of challenges.  But I'm ready for this and I will do this.

And that thought brings back the disbelief that I'm not only doing it, but I'm actually excited about doing it.  I've been blogging for about a year and a half on the topic of running.  And I'm not entirely sure I knew this was as inevitable as it now seems, but that sense of disbelief has sat with me since I first started along this journey.  To come from a place of "I hate running" and refusal (or inability) to run more than 1 mile (and then, only when I really had to), to being excited about running 26.2 of them: utterly surreal.  Does this happen with other runners?  Is this just something newer runners experience?

I'm guessing it will level off with time; though in truth, a part of me wishes it wouldn't.  There are few greater lessons about life than those ones that flip the world for someone.  Running has been that.  To go from extreme loathing of something (I can remember saying regularly "I don't run." or "I can't run.") to an extreme love and appreciation of it in just over two years time still sends me into bewilderment.  More importantly, it reminds me that while there are often serious limitations that we may encounter in life, that our perception of our self and our abilities may be the biggest obstacle to overcome.

And where do I go after this?  Well, if all goes well, I see this marathon as a benchmark.  Next year, I'd like to do several marathons and if possible, get my timing under 4 hours (and eventually...maybe even 3.5 hours).  If I can be as successful with marathons for the next year and a half as I was with half-marathons this year, then I am thinking seriously considering 50+ miler for 2015.  But let's not put the cart before the horse just yet.

Whatever happens today, I expected it to be a bit ugly at the end.  I will be in some rough shape, but that's OK.  Each twinge of pain or soreness will only remind me that I'm on the other side of accomplishment and the euphoria from that is enough to wash away any lingering wear.

Of course, I'm also looking forward to my post-run reiki session from the folks at Mindful Reiki who have been great in helping me train for this run.  I'm equally excited for my post-marathon session at Shanti Bodywork who offer a 26% discount for someone who's completed a marathon in the previous week.  I went to Shanti Bodywork a few days before the race and they did a fantastic job in loosening up the tightness that's accumulated.

Well, if you're still reading this, feel free to give me some words of encouragement.  I won't read it until I'm home and finished, but they will be appreciated regardless!  I will definitely be sending a follow up about how it went, so be on the look out for that!

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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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