This time next week my toes will be touching the start line. What started as me registering for the NYC marathon to "just see if I would get in" has led me and my closest running buddies 1 week closer to hitting the pavement in Maryland for the Under Armor Baltimore Marathon. Just writing that gives me butterflies in my stomach and goosebumps on my arms. I still can't believe it! 7 more days and 7 more miles (literally...our training calls for a 3 mile run and two 2 mile runs before the race) until I hit the ground running for 4 1/2 hours of running bliss. Oh my. Did I just set a goal? Hmmmm...let's just say 26.2 miles of running bliss...
And if that isn't close enough for comfort, tomorrow morning Peg and Staci will be hitting the streets of Chicago for 26.2 miles. I know they are on their way to the Windy City as we speak but I wish them the best of luck. I sure wish I was there to cheer them on but I think they know we are all there in spirit. I know they are going to rock it out and be BOSTON BOUND!
This next week will be pretty tough for me both physically and mentally. The last week before the marathon is the dreaded taper, where you drastically decrease your miles to conserve energy for the big event. For me, it is when I second guess my abilities to actually run 26.2 miles. Already I am having "marathon dreams" where I am replacing actually running miles with dreaming about it. Good Lord. I can't get away from it!!!
I've come to believe training for a marathon is a bit like having a baby. Your body is put through hell for an extended period of time (marathon training: 18 weeks. pregnancy: 40 weeks). You can't stop eating..especially towards the end. No matter how much you prepare in the days leading up to it, mentally you are never really ready. You are super excited at first but as it comes closer you start to get nervous and anxious. You second-guess yourself: Can I complete the marathon? Will I be a good mother? You are an emotional disaster.
But once the day comes, you can't believe what your body is capable of doing. You push it (literally) to its limits. And you are rewarded with a miracle, an awesome accomplishment.
Except instead of nursing a beautiful cherub faced baby, at the end of the marathon you'll be nursing nasty blisters, swollen feet, cramped calves and sore quads. Oh well. It's still worth the effort.