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First Marathon Jitters

Friday, May 18, 2012

Okay, I'm bouncing off the wall, sleeping badly and having anxiety dreams... end of taper, and the big day is less than 48 hours away.

What's causing me stress...

questioning if I'm really ready
people keep asking me "why"
lower back pain
GI issues, especially last few long runs
chafing issues
daughter's fight with the bureaucrats at her college
IT'S GOING TO HIT 85 degrees on race day, and I've trained in cool/cold weather

Why it's all going to be okay... I think...

I have trained sensibly, and am not suffering any running-related injuries (niggles; yes, Injuries? No)
I have trained a LOT - nearly 500 miles year-to-date, with a long run of nearly 22 miles
I have race experience enough (4 1/2 marathons) that I should not go out too fast, and can let the heat dictate my pace
lower back pain - improving daily, and doesn't bother me when I'm actually running.
Chafing - there will be some, but I've got the best outfit picked out, and am packing vaseline
GI Issues - stopped the back medication that was messing up my digestion. Packing Imodium. If it's a problem - there are porta-potties EVERY water stop
daughter's issues are out of my control - worry after the race

Why? - I've decided that trying to answer this question when asked by non-runners is similar to arguing with a 3-year-old about why they have to do as you say. My reasons are my reasons, and are apparently not enough to make my listeners run a marathon, so they discount them and insist I must have some other, more relevant reason, to run this race. Or they've already made up their mind I am nuts to do it and are looking to argue me out of it or undermine my confidence. So - stop trying to answer this question!

I do have reasons that are valid for me...

It's a natural progression in my running career; I have a good base and am ready to do this sensibly.
I ran my first 1/2 marathon at 50, and now that I'm 55 the marathon is next.
All my friends have done one, and I want the validation of "belonging"
To quote ON2VICTORY - "When you go after something big, you feel a calling inside that signals to your heart that it is time."
To quote Jonathan Beverly - "And in this excellence is joy: the unparalleled feeling of engaging in a difficult task and having the skill to accomplish it."

Lately, though, I've realized something. As I've hit 55 some signs of aging are being more obtrusive into my life. I'm starting menopause and have "warm flushes" (not hot flashes yet, but they are coming). Disrupted sleep is related to this. Back issues, and a herniated disc from 30 years on the computer. Increasingly bad eyesight - switching several pairs of glasses and having none that work for all uses. All annoying, non life-threatening... but signs that age is having an impact.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
--Dylan Thomas

Running a marathon is my way of raging against the dying of the light.

Wish me luck on my FIRST marathon, Sunday, May 20, 2012

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Carol, I admire your spirit. There is a calling and we know when the time is right. For you, the calling is now and it is right. Much of what you are feeling is anticipation. When it is done you will be able to look back with pride at all of the training you went through and all that you accomplished. The finish line is the mark of everything you put into this - mental and physical. Stay within yourself and run your race. You will be fantastic. To paraphrase a line from Chariots of Fire, "run with hope in your heart and wings on your heels".
    2162 days ago
  • LINZEE636
    Wishing you the best of luck - once you're out there, taking in every moment - all of your worries will melt away! It's a nearly indescribable feeling, crossing that finish line after completing your first marathon. Believe in yourself!!!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2162 days ago
    You will ROCK IT!!!!!!
    2162 days ago
    You have such a great attitude, and you are well-prepared. I think you're going to have an amazing experience.

    By the way, on the back pain issue, I did my first HM last fall and was worried about my lower back (disc problems) and also was experiencing piriformis problems. On race day, everything felt fine during the race - and even after the race, my back and leg were fine. (Isn't adrenalin wonderful?) I did bring with me (in a little plastic baggie some heavy duty pain meds (because I didn't want to end up stuck on the course, or even in a medical tent, without access to immediate relief - I wasn't planning to keep running if I had to take pain meds - just wanted to have them with me). I didn't need them, but having them gave me some peace of mind.
    2162 days ago
  • COOP9002
    Sounds like you're ready to tackle this beast. Let us know how it turns out. You will do great!!
    2162 days ago
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