I’m not even sure how to explain this in a way to not discourage people from being an encouragement, but I’m going to try…so bear with me. Yes, this is a selfish blog post.
We’re down to the single digit countdown to marathon day. In the midst of the crapton (scientific term) of responsibilities that life holds right now, I’m trying to hold it together to not let my head get stuck in the enormity of this body running 26.2 miles. Impending meltdowns are possible. (Because I’m not going to lie…there *may* have been a few teary runs and a few long drives where this may have already been proven…not in fear, but in the overwhelm and awesomeness of the realization that this is happening)
As the game gets upped quickly, I need to just put this out there on what’s not helpful. I’m not saying this is the case for all people, but for me and my particular headspace at this time, it’s where I’m at…if you don’t know what to say to me in encouragement of this endeavor, don’t say anything! PLEASE!!! (Sounds negative, but for those that don’t comprehend the marathon distance coupled with the stigma of size, there’s a lot that’s being said to me in “encouragement” that people don’t realize is flat out fat-shaming) People of all sizes, backgrounds, etc run all the time. I didn’t just wake up one morning and make this happen, so please stop looking at me like I have three heads when I tell you what I’m going to do. I’ve put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears–quite literally–into getting this far in my athletic ability. Without the tangent of probably a completely different blog post, I can’t even begin to tell you how important it is that I can sit here and tell you that I’m proud of myself and I haven’t even crossed the start line yet! (me and proud from my mouth don’t enter the same sentence…ever…)
Besides, um, running, there’s actually a lot of training that goes into a marathon. There’s strength training, cross-training, looking at fueling for endurance and race-day nutrition, and there’s even a lot of mental strength training and adaptation that goes into it too. They are all intentional, calculated, and measured efforts that have raised me to the physical ability to complete this task at hand. I am forever grateful to those in my arsenal that have gotten me to this point, because I sure wouldn’t be ready of my own volition.
I. Can’t. Wait.
There’s a very specific taper and race plan that starts with a 5k I’m running this weekend that continues beyond the marathon finish line on March 10. It details my sleep, my workouts, my mental training exercises, the influences I will expose my mind to, my food intake*, and oh, yeah, on top of it–a full week of work and normal responsibilities (Thank God, I need the distraction!).
In my past races, I’ve made different updates and things as I go…not going to happen this time. Different headspace. I’m not sure if there’s live tracking for this race, it’s a small race series, and I haven’t heard all the details yet. So, if there is, I’ll pass the details to those so inclined to follow me through the day. I also have no clue in this area if there’s even cell reception the whole route! My focus is the race plan, proper fueling, monitoring the “big three” (the only agreed upon reasons I can DNF), and HAVING FUN!!! I want to be totally present in this experience so I can savor that finish line because…
It’s not about me.
This race is a celebration. It’s a milestone. It’s another chance to step back and say, “Look what God has done!” If you think for one darn second, any of this has been of my own volition, you’re sorely mistaken. God first. Sure, I’ve put in the physical effort…but it’s been a constant effort of prayer, of discovery, of discernment, of wrestling with God on things so much bigger than putting one foot in front of the other. Three years ago when I was almost 200lbs heavier and couldn’t walk up the street and committed my obedience to God, did I ever dream this was where I was headed? HA! Nope. But I wouldn’t trade one second of it. What God has done in me is nothing short of my own personal miracle…I’m still learning to see myself as He sees me, working on being that reflection of Him that’s honoring to His creation–I have a lot of work to do, a lot of goals still to accomplish, and God’s not done with me yet. His plans are pretty amazing.
Anyway, I digress. As I do my best not to retreat into a bundle of counterproductive nerves and hibernation over the next week, just remember to offer grace to the high-strung (LOL). Wait…that’s my usual behavior…I promise, I’ll be back to myself soon. Like after my post-marathon massage already blacked out on my calendar for my day off the Monday after. (My momma didn’t raise no fool!)
Let’s marathon, Baby. See you at the finish line.
*simmer down intuitive eaters…by monitoring food intake on race week, it has nothing to do with restriction or quantity, but there are concepts of gentle nutrition applied in my personal situation that helps my body perform at its best–and that looks different for every single person. Happy to elaborate more on that another time.