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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Marathon Jitters

A few weeks ago I received a letter from the organizers of the E.T. marathon that gave all of the details of the impending marathon: how to get there, what you needed to have, expected temperatures, etc. Then, I read a line that said that you could switch to the half marathon now with out charge and for a few moments I thought about it.

I ran my last and first marathon last December. It was surprisingly easy. I did so well until mile 20 and I began to question what I was doing but that was only brief and I finished strong with a 4:29 time. I knew later I could have pushed harder so almost immediately I signed up for the E.T. marathon. I was busy with a new school and my sons and I wanted to have some time to relax and train before.

Over the last 8 months I have been training with great success always thinking about this marathon. I've been getting up before work or running at night after my boys go to bed. Getting up at 4 on Saturdays and Sundays for my long runs. I am so much faster (and lighter) now. In the last three months I have run two 20 milers with ease. Then, something happened. I don't know if it was the humidity, the heat, over training, shoe problems, poor hydration and food choices, or a little bit of everything but, to me, I failed my last 20 miler. I had to walk on and off at mile 17. I got 19.5 in that day but I felt like a failure. Ever since then, my shorter runs have been wonderful but my longs runs have been a bit of a struggle. I ran the Red Rock loop for the first time. I started off like a demon and then had to walk several hills. So, not like me. I NEVER had to walk EVER during ANY run before. Last weekend I ran the 6 Tunnels. Again, on the way out I was amazing and then I had to walk a few hills. Clearly I need hill work but something else is going on. I have never doubted myself this much. I am so afraid I am going to just give up during this marathon. I know I won't but I am afraid. I am afraid I haven't eaten enough carbs. I am afraid I will get dehydrated . I am afraid I will trip. I am so sick with worry about this marathon. I didn't feel this way the first time. I was worried a little, I'll be honest, but I knew I could do it. I also know this is normal. I know that it's all in my mind. I know that I have worked so hard for so long for this medal that it will be mine. I just need to chill. The fact that I was even considering wussing out and running the half it just horrifying to me. I got this. I will do this. Conquering self doubt is why I run and it's why I'll finish this marathon too and then go and sign up for another one.


  1. Rebecca, thanks so, so much for sharing your feelings. I struggled big time with my 1st full in December, as you know -- despite my HUGE support system -- and walked quite a bit toward the end. Signed up for second full this fall and signed up for ET last minute as a "training run" for my fall full. The way I look at it, if we can do a run like this - under the worst possible circumstances -- hills/sleep deprivation/at night -- we can do anything. Let's embrace the uncertainty and go for it! After all - not many people can say they've done anything quite like this! >Ruth F

  2. Rebecca,
    I'm 45 and have been running regularly since the age of 23-reading your blog I noticed you left out an important part - you never once said how much you love running-whether it be fast or slow.. just running... Focus on that and I think you will do great... just the love of running.

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  4. Rebecca,

    Don't psyche yourself out. Keep in mined why you run. Is is just to run this one marathon, or is it because you love running? I've been reading all your running posts on FB and you are so inspirational. You know how to run long distances, you've got this! Your body knows how to do've just gotta get your mind back in the place where it's just another day you get to run! Good luck girl!

  5. Thank you so much everyone! You have all reminded me that I love running for the sake of running! That is what I have been missing! I feel so much better I will have your positive comments in my mind during the marathon!