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On Lacking Marathon Confidence
It’s been a while, huh?
In the past five days, I’ve been on two planes, I’ve set up shop in three different hotels and I’ve slept for what feels like zero hours.
On Thursday, I flew to Las Vegas for my friend Lauren’s bachelorette party.
We stayed in a suite at the Bellagio, which was fancy and wonderful…
…and had five bathrooms. It was a Crohn’s diseaser’s dream!
I’m normally all anti-bachelorette parties, but this one convinced me otherwise. Lauren had fun, so I had fun.
The bachelorette party continued through Sunday, and by Sunday night I was the lone party girl still in Vegas. I moved into a new room at the Venetian…
…before finally leaving Las Vegas (I believe that’s a Sheryl Crow song) mid-day Monday.
Now I’m in L.A. where I’ll stay for the next few days on official Dance Spirit business.
First order of business upon arrival? Finally going to The Grove and the Farmers Market.
I spent Monday night running errands with my coworker and then doing work back at our luxury hotel room near the airport. [Sarcastic emphasis on "luxury hotel room near the airport." You figured that out, though.]
Tomorrow is photo shoot day. It’s a big deal. We’re shooting important people and we’re hoping to pull off an outdoor shoot (the studio rooftop overlooks the Hollywood sign — I’m psyched), which terrifies me even though L.A. “doesn’t get rain.” I’m still stressed about it. You never know. I saw the movie Armageddon and also the movie Independence Day, so I know that sometimes, no matter how much you plan, shit can happen and there are meteors and aliens.
And Will Smith and Ben Affleck and Bruce Willis.
They’re all invited to the shoot.
WTF was I writing about?
So basically since I got out of the hospital weeks ago, I’ve eaten terribly, I haven’t gotten enough sleep and I am giving into work stress more than I know I should. I also inhaled so much secondhand smoke in Vegas that I’m fairly certain my lungs have stopped even trying to function.
Except that tonight, I had a mini panic attack that what if it’s not actually fine?
I’m supposed to be doing this thing called “running a marathon” in something like 25 days and I feel completely, utterly, wildly unprepared.
Yes, I realize the last time we spoke I went on and on about how I was taking a chill approach to the New York City Marathon, and I was willing to accept that my initial time goals were perhaps no longer feasible or realistic. I know.
The marathon still matters to me. I’d still like to know that I can “trust my training” come race day, and I know that’s not something I’ll be able to do.
Honestly, none of my runs have been up to par. I may have had a good one here and there — including a really fun 18-miler Thursday morning before work, when I finally ran over the Queensboro Bridge for the first time — but overall, I’m feeling slow and out-of-shape.
Mileagely speaking (yes, it’s a word — don’t look it up though, just trust me), I’m doing well. Last week marked my highest mileage week of all-time, clocking in at 54 miles. Not bad considering I was in Las Vegas for a bachelorette party during several of those days.
I still ran in the mornings in Vegas, but the runs were just fun runs, not “time to push the pace” runs. Those are the runs I love the most lately.
Now I’m into my last week of real training for the marathon, and I’ve hardly stepped outside my comfort zone. Oops.
I thought I had so much time, and as much as I said I was OK with “just doing my best,” I’m slightly shocked to realize my time is now up to really train and kick it into high gear.
It’s Peak Week, as I’ve learned to call it, and I can’t say it’s going to be the best, unfortunately.
I’ll be forced onto the treadmill for one speed session, which scares me because I’m awful at treadmill running, and I’m on a late late late night flight back to NYC on Wednesday. I fully anticipate some jet lag kicking in on Thursday, but hopefully I can run through that and get in a quality rest day Friday to let myself catch up and recover.
On Saturday, I’ll give 20 miles my best effort.
And then I’ll taper.
I don’t like going into the taper period without confidence. Even if this week goes as planned, I know I’ll be lacking the “I rocked my training all summer and I’m going to kick this marathon’s butt” enthusiasm that all my running friends seem to be spreading right now.
Forget about the sub-4 goal I had: Right now I’m worried about just getting up the hill of the Verrazano Bridge during the first mile!
I will continue working on my physical game in the days leading up to November 4. But most importantly right now, I need to keep reminding myself that I’ve given it my best effort considering the circumstances.
I was sick.
I was in the hospital.
I got promoted and work took over my life.
I tried my best.
And on November 4, I’ll try my best yet again.
I may not have the “best long run ever” logged in recent memory, and I haven’t gone out and “totally nailed my tempo.” My marathon goal pace changed from “8:45s” to “don’t die,” and I’m not sure how to record that on my Garmin.
I remind myself that I’ve done this before — I’ve completed 26.2 miles — but this time around feels totally different. Last time I did nail my training. I had so much confidence in myself. Now, not much more than one year later, I feel like a different runner. I feel out-of-shape and I feel slow. I love going out and running, but the planned workouts kick my butt every single time.
Everything doesn’t feel all that fine right now.
But that’s OK.
I’ll keep reminding myself of that until I believe it.
I can do this. Right?