It sometimes occurs to me that I spend an obscene number of hours each day obsessing about and preparing for something that will be over, if all goes well, in just three to four hours. Yesterday was stormy and I was supposed to train at the track. My trainer had said I could do it Saturday or Sunday, but I needed a good training session after my disappointment at how I’d run Thursday night at the track, and the quick easy run I’d had on Friday didn’t do it, so I’d planned for Saturday, but the weather was so awful. And so I sat at home, alone, and got some work done, and felt sorry for myself.
I am probably taking all of this way too seriously, but oh well. There is no sense in pretending I am someone different from who I am. I might as well embrace the intensity of my single-minded personal investment in the goals I set for myself, and, oh boy, have I single-mindedly invested a lot into this, and not just hours and miles, but my whole self, all of me. If I do not do well I think I might be kind of devastated.
But. Let’s say I were to finish in under that magical time I see in my head and hold in my heart, I know with that same intensity that it would feel more indescribably incredible than I can presently imagine.
I did the run today, under a bright blue sky and a warm February sun, and it went well and I came home happy and convinced that the marathon probably will go well, and I probably will finish in, or close to, that magical time. Or maybe it will go even better than I think, maybe I will surprise even myself and finish in, or close to, the overly ambitious time my trainer says I could shoot for.
Fortunately, I’ve still got 42 more days to prepare, less a five-day break for our little ski trip. I have two more long runs, and I expect they will give me a better idea of what it will be like on the big day. I’ve made good progress thanks to my trainer. He has made me faster and he is teaching me how to manage a race. I complain that he is too nice, but I suspect he is so nice to me because he sees how hard I can be on myself.
The best part of all of this is that despite all the training, I still enjoy the actual running, or probably I like it even more than before. I feel intensely alive when I run, and after a good one, I feel even better than that.
I imagine that is what the marathon will be like, only more intense. And ever so slightly longer.