Sorry Mom, but it's all I can really type to sum up all my emotions right now. I'm scared. Like out of my mind scared.
People say to me in response, "WHAT!?! How can you be scared of running? You've been running for 8 months straight. Frankly, I'm sick of hearing about it. You are going to do fine!"
You know what I want to say to that?
Well. My mother reads this so I'm not going to tell you. (see above for an example)
In essence, what they are saying is correct. I have been running, I have prepared, I am ready. However they are not necessarily addressing the concerns I have regarding my up-coming MARATHON run. That's right, I said MARATHON. I mean, as legend has it, a man DIED at the end of 26.2 miles. (Though that may have been proven historically false) Irrelevant! 26.2 is still a sh*t long way to run. A sh*t long way to tell your mind everything is alright... just. keep. going.
Since January 17, 2010, the day I signed up for the Chicago Marathon I have been preparing for the moment just four days away. To date, I've run 3 half marathons in a race setting, and in training have run 14, 16, 18, and 22 miles. Textbook says I'm prepared.
And this is what my mind tells me:
1) You SUCKED at those 22 miles. You walked 5 of them!
2) Remember how hard for a time you had in Austin? Ya, it's going to be like that....but worse.
3) Nan-uh-nan-uh-nan-uh! Your foot injury is going to be a prob-lem!
4) Dang, you haven't even run a mile since your last long run? Ha! Your training is probably half what it used to be.
...and so forth.
Damn, my mind is MEAN. Then again, Betsy could have told you that.
Bottom line is, I'm scared of not finishing. I'm scared of disappointing myself. I'm scared my mind will get the better of me and not me it. I'm scared that one of my siblings is going to do better than me. (Uh, did I say that out loud?)
At the end of the day one thought, one word, brings it all back into perspective. PISKUN. WE are doing this for him. It's us out there. Not just me. All of us, together.
Jennifer, the oldest.
Christopher, the man.
Sally, the strength.
Molly, the punk.
Betsy, the rock.
Mom, the cheerleader.
It's funny what happens when you are hesitant, scared, and anxious about an inevitable event. In this case the marathon. Your mind quickly reviews all the times in your life you've felt similar and reminds itself the outcome. For me, the only other time in my life that I can remember being this freaked was when I was six years old. Ironically it was in the exact same city I sit today.
My family took a trip to Los Angeles for Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm. I couldn't tell you much about Disneyland other than I remember loving Space Mountain and thinking the Matador was the scariest creature to ever have lived; and as such, questioned why it even lived in Disneyland at all. But the moment I remember like it was yesterday, was that yellow, one loop roller coaster. You know, the one that is a straight line that suddenly shoots you up, through one loop and back...backwards. I remember staring at it. Shaking my head. "NO WAY! Nun, uh. I'm not going on that! No, daaaaaaaaaaad!" being two seconds away from a complete meltdown.
"You're going." He replied. "Piskun's try everything once."
Needless to say, I LOVED every second of that ride. I believe I made my brother ride it with me 3 straight times that day. Today, there is no ride I won't go on...at least once.
Funny. I feel the exact same tantrum brewing today. The same adamant refusal to try something so daunting and dangerous, so unfathomable. I just want to run away (figuratively of course) from the task. But at the same time, I hear that phrase... "Piskun's try everything once."
Jennifer, I couldn't think of a better phrase for our custom made, black and yellow running shirts. In fact, I think Dad would cry to see we've embraced his yellow/black life-long obsession.
26.2 to go. This one's for, as Chris would say, you Pop!