My stomach did a little dance and my mind went a little crazy this weekend when I looked at the calendar and realized this: Our marathon is next month. “What were we thinking!?!?” I thought as a twinge of dread tickled my stomach. This, even though we were a mere 12 hours off a stellar 20 miler in which we did everything way better than we normally do. For example: we hydrated. And we refueled. And we passed off the boys every two miles instead of every four, avoiding stroller-fatigue, if such a thing exists. We even switched directions each of our five laps around the park, just for a change of scenery. Counterclockwise, clockwise, counterclockwise, clockwise, counterclockwise. We finished the 20 miles feeling like rockstars. I’d never felt better after a long run. I wished the marathon were next week, so great was my confidence afterwards.
But reality has its way of settling in, and endorphins and adrenaline can only carry you so far. I crashed later that night, was near tears with tiredness the next morning, and left church an hour early to go home and take a nap.
The physical highs and lows are well matched with the mental and emotional ones. On the one hand, June 11th, will you please get here already?! I just want this to be over. I want my Saturdays back to not be dominated by the miles we need to put on our legs. I want to say, “I’m tired, I don’t want to run this morning,” without feeling like I’m cheating myself out of something.
On the other hand, I love working towards this goal. I love that it is a big goal and it’s been hard to do. I love the feeling of being righteously exhausted at the end of the day. I love the energy that a morning run gives me, and the sense of purpose and organization I have from starting the day so purposefully, so organized.
One of the reasons we wanted to do this now is because we thought there would be no better time. We only have two kids. They can both ride in the stroller. We can run as a family when we need to, and fit our other runs in at times that don’t disturb “normal life” too much — Micah runs when he would normally be riding the train, I run when I would normally sleep.
And soon Manchild will be too big for the stroller, he’ll have school to work around, and we may have another child in the next couple of years as well. So many unknowns made us want to grab this opportunity while we could. Who knows when we’ll get another chance to qualify for Boston and to run it together? (Who knows if we’ll even be able to do it this time around?)
So even though it is tiring, and even though we still have nearly six weeks left of training (but we’ve made it through ten!), and even though I can hardly remember what our life was like before we started on this endeavor, or imagine what it will be like afterward, I’m really glad we are doing it. Because nothing physical lasts forever (pain, fatigue, legs, joints), and there is no time like the present — to run, to race, to teach, to work, to adapt, to inspire, to achieve.