I finally decided to run that marathon in October. It’s a go. I’m registered for it and everything. And I’m pretty sure I took the decision way too seriously. I mean, it’s not like I’m going to have to feed and nurture and care for this marathon for the rest of my life. It’s just a 3 1/2 hour jaunt through/around/in Hartford. Start. Run. Finish. The end. That’s all. Once the soreness subsides, I don’t even have to think about it ever again if I don’t want to. But do I ever make things that easy? Not on your life. I make everything much bigger than I think I can handle. Unless I don’t. Which is what I decided to do this time around.
But first, I had to get over the big things that were holding me back. I finally worked my way through them and I’m ready, I think, to move on.
The first thing I needed to do was forget the not so-stellar ending to last marathon. I trained really hard for that. I did everything I could do. And the fact that it was my stomach that rebelled and not my legs was really disheartening. I can strengthen my legs. I can do the running. But my stomach is an unknown. It may mysteriously decide it wants to thwart every attempt I make to go sub-3:30 in the 26.2 distance. Then again, it may not. Of all the many miles I’ve run, of all my races, only one has ended with vomit on the pavement. What are the chances that it could happen again?
And then there is the fact that my running buddy is still injured. Micah and I made this goal to qualify for Boston together. We want to run together. We like to train together. We enjoy running races together. (Even if we aren’t together on the course.) Micah’s knees have been fickle. They seem to be getting better, then they regress. He’s been running a little bit, going to physical therapy, stretching and strengthening, but it seems like it might still take a while for them to get back to 100%. It’s not as painful for me as it is for him, I’m sure, but it does pain me. It pains me to lose my running buddy and to have to go on without him. But I needed to give myself another chance while I’m still in marathon shape.
There was also the little bitty part about this being a goal to work towards, part of the plan, and not something to just give up on because it didn’t work out the first time. I mean really, where is the lesson for the children in that?
But the thing that finally pushed me out of Indecision Land was the realization that for me, it’s sort of now or never. I know that is not actually the case. I know I will have years and years of marathons left in me, years and years of races. But I like to pretend that this is my only chance. It makes it easier for me to commit. So this is what I told myself when I decided to ditch my running buddy and go solo: Micah can run a marathon any time he likes, but I might get pregnant. I might have a baby to nurse. I might not be able to work marathon training around three kids like I have with no kids, or one kid, or two kids. I might only be able to train for shorter races for the next 10 years (hooray!).
There is still hope that Micah’s knees will get better and he’ll feel good about signing up for Hartford, too. But if he doesn’t, and if this marathon goes better than the last one (knock on wood), then maybe I will get my super-speedy qualifying time in October, and he will get his next year sometime. If that happens (knock on wood), then we can still sign up for, and run, Boston 2013 together (knock on wood).
And if it doesn’t happen. Meh. Who cares? It’s not the end of the world. This is just another long run. Just like any other. No biggie.