|(L-R) Maggie, Julie and Kelly|
|Manning the aid stations (L-R): Kathy, Kim, Me|
Last Sunday was my 20 miler. Since I am a part of CARA, I'm automatically registered for the Newton Ready To Run 20-Miler which goes almost the entire way down the lake (point to point course). I ran this run last year (read about my misery here) and it was definitely one of my most miserable runs of the training season. So I was a little nervous going into it this time. Last time it was cold and rainy (and I was not dressed properly since all summer it had been 90 degrees). This year it was about 65 for the start but full sun and probably in the 70's when finished. I thought I might do a little better in these temps than last year's temps.
I have come to the conclusion that this run (and maybe this distance) is just not my favorite. I don't know if it's the course. I don't know if the fact that I'm running 20 miles...I feel like I should just add the 6 more and do a marathon. I don't really know what it is about this particular run. It's just not my favorite. My pace leader is one from our normal run group that leads the 7:00 start for our long runs. I typically don't run with her and from what I remember, I feel she starts too fast. I'm spoiled by my normal pace leader, who I love! But the 7:00 a.m. leader was the one leading our group at this 20-miler. And needless to say, she was just running fast. Myself and a few friends dropped back around mile 5. I ran the first 12 miles with Megan and Bob from my normal Saturday runs. Megan was sick and not doing well and Bob said he had a cramp in his calf and side. They decided to drop back from me around 12. I was unsure what to do at this point. Do I keep running alone or stick with Megan and Bob? I knew they had each other so I didn't feel that I should stay because they needed someone. My wonder was...did I need someone? I decided to just go along and try to finish it out "alone" (with the other hundreds of people there). And around mile 15-16, I just started struggling mentally a bit. I was tired and just wanted it to be over. Physically I felt ok. But I started walking frequently after mile 16 since this run is not chip timed and I just didn't care to push myself AT ALL! I ended up coming in around 3:40 (my garmin was screwed up so I looked at my phone time when finished). That wasn't too bad considering it includes all water stops, the stop when my friend Megan fell and we stopped with her, the bathroom break, the vaseline break....At the marathon, time stops for no one!
|Yankee Runners: Bob (in red), Megan (in Yellow), my friend Curtis (in the Green)...and me |
(and a few others I keep forgetting their names!)
My marathon is coming up...in case you didn't know. In fact, it's two weeks away (October 7). The first two marathons I relied on a lot of support to help me through it. Actually, for the first one, most of my support decided they weren't coming! So I didn't think I was going to have much. I knew my parents would be there at various miles and that really helped me. I knew my friends from Ohio, Jodi and Dave, would be there somewhere to cheer me on as I ran past. And I knew I was going to start with Kelly, whoc was running her first marathon as well. So as much as I was freaking out that I would have NO support...I ended up having quite a bit. Kelly ran the first 10 miles with me (which I'm confident was a huge help mentally), Dave and Jodi ran with me around miles 16.5-18, which was a surprise to me and really gave me a mental boost (until I started walking at 18.5), and my parents jumped all over the course via the EL to provide hugs, water, and photos.
For my second marathon (the IL marathon), Kelly helped me out by jumping in around mile 14.5 and running (and walking) with me all the way until about mile 25. And since I was miserable that whole time, I really relied on her being there and helping me through that. BIG THANKS KELLY! I was grumpy and even cried at mile 24. But Kelly was all smiles and encouragement (and even sang throughout since my headphones weren't working).
For this 3rd marathon, I thought it was time to "man-up". It's time I put my big girl panties on. I really didn't try to get anyone to come out. I haven't been asking anyone to come out. I know Kelly said she would be there and wanted to run a little with various people throughout, and people from my run group (F'N Runners) that weren't running the marathon are coming out to provide a cheering squad. But my thought was...I can't rely on anyone this time. It's going to be chaotic so I can't "bank" on Kelly being there. I can't assume I will have someone because if it doesn't happen, I don't want to mentally get defeated during the run. In my mind, I'm running this marathon "alone". My parents might not be there this time either (for various and very good reasons).
I may start with my friend Shelby but she is having some hip problems. I know others starting around me but I don't want them to run me up. And I don't know why...but now I'm starting to freak out a little. Sometimes I mentally lose it near the end of my long runs if I'm alone from my group and can't push myself. I don't want that to happen to me at the marathon. It's the last 5-6 miles I'm really worried about. More than anything, I want to beat my best time of 4:53. And even though sometimes I feel that should be no problem, sometimes I doubt myself and am not so sure I can do it.
The truth is, I think I may have more support than I know. And after speaking with my boss (that is leaving today)...he is showing interest in jumping in with me for a mile (he lives right by there and does a little running). But I definitely am not relying on him. He wanted to go last year and didn't. But I will provide him with the necessary info and if he shows...bonus support for me. And I know my F'N Runner group is amazing. And Kelly is amazing...and if she isn't there for me, it's because she is providing necessary support to someone else (totally understandable). Actually, I did just remember my friend Becky threw out there that she wanted to come...So maybe I'm just totally making myself crazy here for no reason.
Thanks for listening to my little rant. I just wanted to get it out there now and maybe hear some words of encouragement from all of you, and then I could put it behind me. It's my 3rd marathon. I should know what to expect. I shouldn't be worried. I know I can do it.