It is insane to me that I'm 30 days out from the day I run my first marathon.
How did that happen?
Focused on an 18-week training cycle, the actual day of the event felt like an eternity away and now, well, I'm inching ever so closely to the day that the magic happens.
To be honest, training for a marathon has been one of the most gut-wrenching experiences of my life. I've gone through three different pairs of running shoes, umpteen different types of gels, gus, sports beans, chews, bars, physical therapy, massage, essential oils, tears, screaming, dehydration, chaffing, loneliness, lack of self-confidence and overall, exhaustion.
And to be even more fair, I have not done a good job of logging in all of my training runs and my pace is as slow as a snail.
But short of experiencing significant injury or a gunshot wound on the course, I should by 12pm on Sunday, May 4th be able to claim that I am a marathoner.
It's hard to know why this goal was on my bucket list of crazy things to do before I turn 40, because it's really not crazy, it's more masochistic in nature. And let me let you in on a little secret that really sucks, I've not yet met a marathoner in training that loses a shit ton of weight in the process. The truth is that you're hungry for carbs, for red meat, for sugar, for your own hand and you want to replace the calories as fast as they depart from your body.
But what you don't lose in weight, you gain in self worth....and there is no myth to that. Last week on a 19-mile training run, I thought I was going to lose my marbles on the last mile. I was dying. I was caving. I was not in a happy place. And like second nature, I fought. I fought hard. I put one foot in front of the other and I forced my way, inch by inch until the Garmin told me to stop, the clouds opened and God said, "You did it." I was about to collapse, but I didn't. I forged on.
And that's what marathon training does. It takes you to places physically and mentally that you didn't know existed. It creates a coat of armor that teaches you what to do when you get scared, unsure, in peril. And it builds a skin that is tough...and that has been worth all the while.
I still have a lot of running left before the race. My biggest training run of 20-miles is in a week. And so, I tread lightly, knowing that anything can happen...but being extremely hopeful, that it will all come to bear fruit...that I can eat instantly.