26.2 or bust

I haven’t been giving a play-by-play of this year’s marathon training. Some of you are likely thanking me for that one.

The truth is, I haven’t really been giving myself a play-by-play either. My runs this year haven’t been as significant as those last year. Running 15, 18, 20 miles still feels accomplished but I’m no longer shocked that I did it – because I’ve done it before.

All that said, here I sit on race week and I do wonder if I’m as prepared as I was last year.

Last year, it was a big unknown. Will I be able to run 26.2 miles? Will I make it to the finish line?

This year, I know I can do it. I’ve done it before. But did I give my training the same respect I did last year? Last year I didn’t miss but one run (a short one, because my knee hurt, I ran 1 mile instead of 4). This year I missed several runs, including a long run (17 miles.) I took yesterday off because my calf is hurting, so I missed my 8 mile taper run. I missed several small runs too – because I got busy or lazy or stupid other countless excuses. I even did some runs on a treadmill because I didn’t want to deal with the heat or the cars and I know a treadmill is not the same thing.

I know I can do it. I’ve done it before. But will I embarrass myself with a time that’s much slower than last year? I should be a better marathoner, not a worse one.

I don’t have a running playlist planned yet. I don’t know what I’m going to wear. I don’t know what the course looks like. I haven’t run it. I haven’t even looked at an elevation map. I heard it’s hilly but that’s all I know.

I’m intimidated by the version of myself from December. I’m intimidated by the girl who started running and didn’t stop for 26.2 miles. The girl who ran through the water stops and drank while on the go. The girl who didn’t need a bathroom break. The girl who kept a smile on her face for 4 hours, 29 minutes, and 36 seconds.

Last year’s race was about 1,000 runners. This year’s will be about 30,000. I’ll be elbow-to-elbow with other runners the entire way. That’s a long time to be elbow-to-elbow with people.

I told my parents not to come, and some of my friends, because it’s a lot of money to travel to DC and with all those runners, there’s no guarantee that they will see me at the finish line. But Jeff will be there, and my in-laws will be there, and their friends will be there. And I have a few friends that are running the race – we are not running it together; I like to run my own race – but what if they do see me cross the finish line and what if it’s in 5 hours and 30 minutes instead of 4 hours and 29 minutes and what if there’s not a smile on my face and what if I got cocky and I’m not as ready for this as I thought I was all during training season?

But I know I can do this. I’ve done it before. Right?