So here's the rundown on the race today, compared to my freak-out from the other day:
I've done this before.
Yeah, but it felt like the first time. Especially at mile 18.
I can do this again.
Yep, and I did. It wasn't fun today, and I was in a lot of pain at the end. I walked more than I ran from mile 17 to the end. It was hard. But it is done.
The training is done -- I didn't skimp, I didn't cheat the hard work.
I didn't skimp and it was still hard. I know if I hadn't done the work, I would have quit today. It was just that hard.
My shoes are just new enough.
Yep, the shoes were fine. My feet hurt like they usually do after 26 miles, but they didn't cause any other problems. But, alas, the pink shoes did not bring me my magic 5:00 finish, drat it.
The weather will be fine.
I wish. The sun was bright and shiny, temps in the mid-40s. Winds gusting up to 40 miles an hour. Totally sucked. Literally sucked my soul out of my body. The hills were barely noticeable compared to the wind. At one point, a big chunk of cardboard (think giant moving box!) came out of nowhere and whacked me full on the body before continuing in the wind on its merry way. OK, I'm sure I would have seen it coming if I hadn't had my head down trying to keep from blowing off the trail.
I am doing this for me. It doesn't matter if I break 5:00 (God, I really, really, really want to break 5:00), just that I have fun, don't get hurt, and cross the line upright and smiling.
Good thing it didn't matter, 'cause I didn't break 5:00. Hell, I barely broke 6:00 today. I did cross the line upright and smiling, and I didn't get hurt. So that's gotta count for something, right?
I've done this before (but not in two years...). Yeah, I know I said that earlier, I just have to repeat it to myself again... and again... and again...
I'm trying to remind myself that I can't call it a comeback, that it is really more like the first time. And combined with the weather, it felt like a first-time effort. But I finished, and there were a few chunks of time in there that I doubted that I would, so that really has to count for that.
Just getting to the start is a battle won.
Call me Victor!
48 hours to go.
It's done. It's two months to the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, when I get to try it again. This time, instead of losing my soul at mile 14 like I did today, I'm going to try to lose that monkey on my back that I've been carrying around, the one wearing the little shirt that says "5:00 marathon."