In 2014 I ran the relay Marathon at the Memorial Marathon for Oklahoma City.
I. Sucked. Wind.
No, seriously. You see, I was supposed to run the 5k portion. I had done it before and wasn't worried about it. But then Captain came down sick the week prior. His portion was the 10K. Why, yes! Of course we can change portions. I can double my race distance, no problem. I can do this. And to prove it to myself I ran 10K at the gym. I do not remember how many times around the track that was. Too many. (72ish?) ANYWAY...
This was when I fully learned that running in the gym was VERY different than running the road.
I wish I could have found the picture of after the race. I know we took one, but it's not in my Facebook and the other computer from that time died a long time ago. Maybe I was smiling for the camera I faced with my arms around those who raced with me. But what I remember was being mad.
I had an unreal expectation that I was going to do amazing at the race, and while I did my best it wasn't what I thought it should be. It was hard. I walked the majority of it. The sun was hot. The wind was fast. And I simply didn't prepare correctly out of ignorance.
Facing the Marathon this coming weekend I'm scared. What if, out of ignorance again, I didn't do enough? I have worked hard towards this weekend. I have run 20 miles, and last week I ran a lovely 15. I know to carry water, and drink at each station. I will gu and carry gummy bears and pretzles. I will have my music. But what if there is something I missed because I simply didn't know? What if it doesn't go as well as my half marathon went?
I've gotten to a place where I don't compare my running with another person's, but I do compare one of my own runs to the next. I did great on my half marathon. Much better than I expected. And I wonder if it's possible to do that for the Marathon as well. I keep saying if I crawl across the finish line I will be happy, and I will. But secretly, in my heart of hearts, I'm really hoping for a good run. A good race. But I know that a bad one can happen just as easily, if not more so.
I've done what I knew to do. I have listened to my body, and I might run a few more short runs, but I don't want to do it out of panic. So this morning I look at what's really scaring me: I worry this run will be as bad as the 10K. And I have to face the fact that it might be.
But I will stand in the crowd come Sunday morning, and I will wave to the cameras, and my sister and husband will make me laugh, and we will have fun, and the race will be run. And if I crawl across the finish line I will be happy I finished.