In about 16 days I will participate in my first marathon. This running a marathon thing seemed like an awesome idea when I signed up, back in December. It’s seemed like an awesome idea while I’ve been training; I have genuinely enjoyed the training runs, especially the long ones. I love to be out, by myself, doing something that tests my limits. I love the extended amount of thinking time, I love listening to interesting podcasts, I love telling people I just ran 20 miles (or whatever).
Now, though, I’m thinking a lot about race day. Perhaps this is what they refer to as the taper crazies. I’m starting to feel nervous and I’m starting to doubt a little. I mean, it’s one thing to run 20 miles by yourself where no one can see you. It’s a totally different thing to do it when there will be other people around.
Yesterday I got a text from a family member saying that their dental hygienist is running the same marathon that I am and she wants to know what time I’m shooting for. I have two answers for that question. The first answer is: this is my first marathon, my goal is really just to finish. And that is true, it really is. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have an idea of where I’d like to finish. So, I texted back and said my big goal was just finishing but that I was hoping to finish around 5:30. The response text was: oh, she’s shooting for 3:50.
I hate stuff like that. Yes, I am a slow runner. I probably always will be. I don’t even care that much (usually). But sometimes I feel a little judged about it. This is especially true when talking to non-runners. I don’t know why but it seems like every non-runner I talk to things all marathoners finish like Desi Linden. Truth is, running a marathon is hard. Not everyone can do it in under 3 hours!
So, here’s the thing. I’m going to run a marathon. I will take walk breaks from time to time. It will take me more than 5 hours. If it’s a bad day, it could take 6 hours. But I will finish. And it will be awesome.
I’ll probably keep repeating the last two sentences to myself. So I can remember.