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.