Five a.m. Two pieces of whole wheat toast. One buttered. One crunchy peanut buttered (and covered in banana slices if the girls haven't eaten all of them for the week). A tall glass of water. A Psalm of encouragement. And a prayer of survival. That's how I've started (almost) every Saturday morning for the last three or so months. And I just did it for the last time. My marathon is THIS COMING SUNDAY in Falmouth, MA (part of Cape Cod).
Do I feel prepared? No. Do I feel confident that I will finish? Nuh-uh. Am I ready for the insanity to end? YES!!! "They" say, that you need to work up to running 20 miles in order to finish a marathon (26.2 miles). I have run two 20s and a nineteen, so technically I am supposed to be ready. However, I know how I feel after 20 miles, and the thought of running 6 more...a whole nother hour...seems like a...major stretch. I always imagined that when the training was over, I would, perhaps, realize the difficulty that was ahead of me, but it would be tempered with a confidence that I could overcome it... ... ...I don't feel like that. When I voiced these feelings to some of my running group Saturday morning (who have all run between 13 and 30 marathons, ok?!), I could hear the crickets chirping. What were they supposed to say? "No, Abby, you can do it. We KNOW you can!" (which is what I wanted to hear) Then, if I really don't finish, they feel bad facing me afterwards. Or, "You know, not everybody finishes, and that's ok too!" (which made me want to shoot myself) Then, if I do fail, at least I know they think it's alright the next time we face each other. They managed to eek out some combination of both of these things :) Sorry guys, not a good question.
Part of the reason for all this uncertainty, and part of the reason I haven't been talking about the running (that has been consuming my life), is because I am hurt. Not technically "injured," my orthopaedist husband tells me, but hurting all the same. Monday and Tuesday two weeks ago, I would have gladly severed my hamstrings if I could have gotten some scissors to them. I've had to take off some time running and I can't attest to the physical repercussions of taking time off (yet), but I can tell you the mental repercussions are not fun. I feel behind. And it makes me question if I can really do this thing. Fortunately, I know a very good orthopaedic surgeon:Who came into the study yesterday and announced, "Mommy, I need to do some surgery on your hamstring...And this is preeeetty serious."When I saw her surgical instruments included Cinderella's slipper and some swimming goggles...I got a little worried. When she apparently though my hamstrings were joined to my big toe, I knew I probably should have gotten a second opinion.The surgery went pretty well overall, despite my loud, dramatic screaming effects :) The prognosis is still hazy, but one thing's for sure, if I am screaming in pain, I will always be able to count on Dapples for a heart burdened with sympathy:Would you like to know the three primary (physical) things (Besides God. I do know that is the real answer here) that are sustaining me on this nerve-racking week building up to the run? 1) The fact that my past four runs have involved some pain, but on the whole have been really good. 2) All those amazingly sweet notes you see scattered in the picture below, from dear friends who encourage and support me AND 3) That cute little running ensemble that Mrs. Linda (Jeremiah's Mom) just sent me (via Ashley, who picked it out). This may sound crazy, but now that I know what I'm wearing in the race, it's a lot easier to envision myself crossing the finish line (like everybody keeps telling me to do). You KNOW you're a serious runner when...the outfit is the deal clincher :)