I have been conserving energy; I have been conserving my blogging output energy because I am using it in other ways.
The last two months I have been training for my second marathon. Unlike the reliable second pancake on the pan when the first is always the tester, having run this distance once before guarantees nothing. It simply means you have been there before. The only similarity between my first and pending second marathon will be the 42.2 km span.
I have put blogging aside and put my mental and creative energy into running. I am running out of choice rather than out of obligation or expectation or peer pressure. I do the same workouts, I run the same distances, but it’s much more fun going with the first intention.
On my longer runs, when I had two to three hours on my feet, I had plenty of blog topics to think about. I thought about the feeling of running when you don’t want to and overcoming mental blocks. I thought about the pride, elation, and possible pressure you can put on yourself when you finish a run and it’s exactly where you wanted to be. I thought about all the typical pitfalls runners experience as they train (and then taper or “actively rest”) before a race. I thought about how I got up on every Saturday morning, got my kids to their soccer games, and then ran for the rest of the morning. Then I ran on Sunday. I thought about different answers I could tell my co-workers when they asked me how my weekend went. What part did they want to know about? They all know I am running a marathon this weekend; none of them know the training I’ve done to get there.
I am proud of myself for getting here. I have crossed so many personal finish lines. I have done the training I wanted to do and I exceeded my own expectations. I have done better than I thought I could. My health has been better, my mental attitude and focus have gone through a massive transformation, and I like myself. And, heck, the week before a marathon you are in your peak fitness. So when I get in the shower I do check the mirror for a few extra seconds. And the word that comes to mind is, “Damn!”
I have two main mantras for the next few days: “Be open to success” and “Choose to dwell on the positive.” My mind is still a sticky place. I like to mire myself in negativity because it’s where my comfort level lies. So when my coach assures me that I have trained to run a good strong race my reaction is contradiction. “What if I go out too fast and then am beyond recovery?”
Sure, I have goals. And if I don’t achieve them in this race, there will be another race I can train for and try again.
Each race is an experience and this one will have many. I need to remember to savour it as I go. I will be running the Paris Marathon. I am going to enjoy every bite of my second pancake.