The countdown is on! The Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon is 20 days away. It’s so hard to believe that in a little less than three short weeks, my marathon journey will be over (at least for now…remember, I have Columbus in October). Now, fear and doubt are creeping into my mind, especially after bombing my training run this weekend and not being able to get the miles in the weekend before. Questions going through my head are have I trained hard enough? Will I FINALLY be able to run the race that I have always wanted to run in Cleveland? Will I have to walk, or, even worse, go to the bathroom at every damn port-o-potty?! Can I even do this again?
For each marathon I’ve run, I’ve had at least one major freak out. For this one, it was this weekend. My plan was to run 10-13 miles on Saturday. The weather was great, I didn’t have to worry about the kids, and I had nowhere to be until 3:00pm. Perfect, right? Not so much. First off, I made a beginner’s mistake and dressed too warmly. I thought the temperature was around 50 degrees and not 60 degrees. Huge difference in the amount of clothes needed, at least for me. I also started off way too fast. I was going to run at a pace that felt comfortable instead of using my watch to stay at a steady pace. With the wind and running in a residential area, it was hard for me to tell exactly how fast I was going, and I thought my heavy breathing was due to the wind and the fact I kept sucking snot (gross, I know, but I was sick last week). I got about 2.6 miles in and needed to strip off some layers, so I made a pit stop at home, ditched the tights and long sleeves, and set out again. I was feeling better until I made it around the corner from my house, and then I had the holy-crap-I-need-to-go-to-the-bathroom-NOW feeling. I ran home and cashed it in for the day, feeling angry and defeated. Upstairs, I had a meltdown. I cried and pouted like a baby but had to compose myself before going downstairs to face the kids and Dan, who I know would tell me to suck it up. In my defense, I warned him that this would happen sometime during training, but he still thought training with me would be a good idea. Thankfully for me, he was supportive and offered encouragement, which helped a little although I still was mad at myself. He told me that we needed to regain focus and momentum (which is kind of our motto) to be ready for this weekend, which is our longest and last training run before CLE. And he’s right; I can’t let this wreck my marathon. I’ve worked too hard to act like a whiny baby about one bad run.
So, what’s the plan for the next 20 days? To be honest, I haven’t exactly just fallen off the wagon in terms of healthy eating. I fell off, and that wagon left me miles behind in the dust. It’s time to cut the sweets (my downfall) and eat the things that will not only give me energy but keep me healthy through race day. I need to find that willpower that has been buried. It’s also time to refocus on training. I have been a little lax lately by not getting my long runs in every weekend like I have in the past or logging all of my shorter training runs through the week. Unfortunately, running hasn’t really been a priority with all of the other things going on in my life, but in order for me to run well, it needs to be the priority. Also, I NEED to be healthy! Last week, I was sick for a few days with sinus/congestion crap, and it played a part in not running well on the weekend. I know that if I’m not healthy on race day, there is no way I can make it 26.2 miles. Vitamins, lots of water, healthy foods, and sleep are all part of the health component. Lastly, the negative thinking has got to stop. If I think I can’t run the race, then I’m probably right. We have all heard that so much of a marathon is mental. If I go into it with a negative mindset, I’m only hurting myself, like I’m setting myself up for failure. Positive thinking can work wonders on a run.
All of this being said, I’m glad I have someone to help hold me accountable and give me a dose of reality or logic when I need it. If you haven’t noticed by now, my running partner, Dan, turned into my boyfriend, so having him with me on this journey is pretty awesome. This will be his first marathon, and I am beyond excited for us to run it together. Here’s to the last 20 days of training! The harder we work now, the sweeter that finish will be!