Today was a big day of celebration within my little running community. Most of us ran our very last long mileage training run this weekend. That means it’s finally taper time! For the next 3 weeks we ease back on the mileage, rest and recover for marathon weekend. Sounds great, right?
In a lot of ways, it is. While I’ve always respected the marathon distance the one thing that has surprised me is how all-encompassing marathon training is. Free time becomes scarce. Luxuries like sleep, grocery shopping and spending time with your family are rare. It’s been particularly hard during the Christmas season with so much else going on. Tapering is going to be a welcome respite, physically.
But mentally? I’m not looking forward to these next 3 weeks at all. 3 weeks to think. To wonder. To worry. When you’re a back-of-the-packer like myself, finishing isn’t guaranteed. January 12th is going to be a battle for me. I’m going to fight, mile after mile, to get to that finish line. There’s a lot that could go wrong. I could be swept. It would be devastating. I think the other thing that I struggle with is that I’ve dedicated myself to this 100%. I’ve done the training and logged the miles. Meanwhile, there are many that have completely slacked on training but will finish with no problems. I know, I know… I can only worry about myself. But sometimes it’s a particularly hard pill to swallow.
I know this: I’ve spent 35 years of my life believing that I could never do this. I’ve worked my ass off to prove otherwise. I’m surrounded by amazing people that will be pushing me along mentally, physically and emotionally. I’ve put in the time, the effort.
I need to trust the training. I fear the outcome. It’s going to be a long 3 weeks.