There are only 7 more days until my first full marathon. WOW! It doesn’t seem exactly like YESTERDAY that I started training, but in the words of some old cliche maker: Time flies when you’re having fun. I confidently declared over a year ago that I was going to run a marathon. I’m not sure how I made that decision, but I’ve been determined to follow through.
A month after I made that declaration, my hips started hurting so much that I nearly stopped running. Several visits to the Orthopedist, a couple of cortisone shots to the hip and knee, X-rays and an MRI later, it was determined that I needed knee surgery. So after knee surgery, physical therapy , slow recovery and NINE months after my initial decision, I started ‘officially’ training for my first full marathon.
It’s been an interesting 18 weeks. I’ve learned lots about myself and the people around me. Some of it’s been great and some of it, I could have done without. SURPRISE: Some people don’t want you to be successful. Some people are going to be jealous (yes…). Some people just don’t get it. That’s okay, though. What I’ve gained from this far outweighs the few discouraging things. More on those things in a later post.
Training is not over, yet. My last week might be the most critical. I’ve got to get my mind right! Yesterday I was in the car with my husband and he had sports radio on. I REALLY don’t get sports radio sometimes. Seems like a bunch of people just rattling on and on about the same thing over and over… (I’m getting sleepy thinking about it.) BUT. The point of this was that there was a man on who talked about attitude and effort. He thought these were the two most important aspects of sports and I my husband and I agreed. (The guy has a website in case you’d like to visit it: effortandattitude.org) I started thinking about my own attitude and effort.
Have I given this training my all? Has my effort been worthy of the goal? I’ve often taken a few seconds to decide if I ‘gave it my all’ after a run. Could I have done more? I don’t mean I wonder if I could have run further or faster, but if I ran strong. Did I use the run to focus on my form and my breathing or was I just dragging myself along any way I could? Was there a purpose for each of my runs? Was the effort that I put into each of my runs worth the time to do the run? I guess the answer is ‘sometimes’. No, I think ‘usually’. Sometimes the only ‘effort’ could put into my run was to actually get out of the house and go. Some runs were great: focused and purposeful, tough. All in all, I think my effort was worthy of the goal of finishing this marathon.
How about my attitude? Have I let myself get down, mad, sad, discouraged so much that it’s affected my outcome? Have I pushed people away? Have I made this l sport seem attractive to someone else with my attitude about it? I know I’m not the official running ambassador, but I DO know that my attitude about it to a ‘non-runner’ might affect how they think about all runners. More importantly though, have I had an attitude that would keep ME attracted to the sport, to my goal? Have I second guessed myself too much? Have I NOT taken criticism or questions about my training serious enough? Have I poo-pooed an idea that maybe could have helped me? Hmm… I. don’t. think. so… I’m going to work on something that my sister talked about and I’ve always been intrigued by: Positive visualization. This week, I am focusing on a vision of myself at the FINISH line with that FINISHER’S medal in hand. I know I can get across that line. Positive attitudes reap positive results.
So, this is my very last week of training before my very first marathon. I have three 3-mile runs left (Monday, Wednesday and Friday). I’ve looked at the weather forecast for Galveston and the temp will be between 50-55 degrees with humidity between 70-76%. So… I’ll be REALLY focusing on HYDRATING as well as my glycogen stores this week. I need to channel my inner child-that-grew-up-in-Houston this week to get ready for the humidity… It’s all good, though.