Marathon Mind

Alright, that’s it, I can’t take it anymore.  I cannot stop thinking about the marathon.  Not at all.  Not even for one second.  Everything I do, eat, how I sleep, when and how often I stretch, roll, ice, and wash my hands, what I’m gonna wear on race day if it’s cold, if it’s hot, if it rains, what to pack for the overnight, what to eat the morning of, what to put on my iPod, what to eat when the carb-loading begins on Sunday, how much water to drink, how to stay away from my sick child, regretting not buying new shoes 4 weeks ago, remembering NOT to buy wine at the store.  Every-fricking-thing relates! It’s overwhelming but exciting all at the same time.

If I drew you a pie chart of my brain right now, 98.99993% would be dedicated to the marathon.  Every conversation I have with anyone gets steered right back to the marathon. Lately, conversations with Hubby go a little something like this:

Hubby: “So what’s for dinner?”

Me: “Brown rice, brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes.”

Hubby:  “Oh.  That’s not too exciting.”

Me: “Well, this is what I have been eating before all my long runs so we’re eating it again because tomorrow is my last long run.  I have to keep everything the same from now until the marathon.  I’ll make you some chicken though.”

Hubby: “Okay, that sounds good… what did you do with the kids today?”

Me: “We just stayed home- I don’t want to go to any sort of germ-infested play area until after the marathon.”

Hubby: “Okay… oh, I talked to my mom today.”

Me: “Yeah, me too, she’s definitely taking the kids over night on the 15th!  Yay!”

Hubby: “Hunh?  Why is that?”

Me: “BECAUSE I have the MARATHON on the 16th and you are coming to the city to spend the night at the hotel with me!  Remember??? I know I told you that already… but actually, now you can’t stay with me because you snore and I need a good night’s sleep before the marathon.”

Hubby: “Damn marathon.”

But, I do know it will be over and that life will go on.  And then what?  I guess another marathon? Hmmmm…

just do what the hoodie says and no one gets hurt

This has also got me thinking- what’s the big deal anyway?  26.2 miles has been made into this daunting, impossible challenge of strength and will.  I get it.  I mean, now, I get it. It’s not just about the physical prowess but the mental fortitude it takes to get prepared as well as to finally cross that finish line.  Maybe that’s what inspires novices, like me, to do it- simply, for the challenge.  And maybe what others find so amazing about running a marathon stems from the simple fact that they aren’t doing it.  Maybe it’s, for both sides, fear.  Fear of the unknown, fear of the distance, fear of pushing yourself beyond the point of comfort… maybe fear of success?

I believe that anyone can run a marathon.  If you want to, that is.  It was very easy to wrap my brain around 5 months of training and now that I am just over a week away, I need to shift my focus from getting ready to do it (which is easy enough), to actually doing it (which is going to be hard).

Now that I am tapering, I can’t work anymore on my physical strength, but I can work on my mental brawn. Maybe all this mind share the marathon is taking is actually a requirement of training- the more I think about it, the more I visualize finishing, the more I anticipate any hurdles, the better prepared I will be.

Must go foam roll now and think even more about the marathon.  It’s what I do.

What makes a marathon so “special”?  What do you think is the big deal?  Will you ever run a marathon?  If you have run a marathon, what makes you want to do it again?  Or not?  


13 thoughts on “Marathon Mind

  1. I’ve run 2, and I have my 3rd coming up the end of this month (MCM). I think for most of us the marathon is still such an occasion. When I first started running, running a 5k race meant hours of preparation. Now I’ll just go do it. Nothing special. No special meals. I won’t reserve the rest of the day to recover. I just do it. The marathon is different because I’m not used to it.

    • Yes, you are right, Laura, I was thinking about that too amid my current obsession… I remember when a 5K was a HUGE deal, then a 10K, then a 12K, then when I did my first half marathon I was just as obsessed as now, but when I ran one last weekend it was no big deal!

      Guess I’m obligated to run more than one marathon in order to get comfortable with it! Good point! 🙂

  2. My brain is much like yours right now…”Nike! Nike! Nike!” I am going to remind myself of this feeling when I am at mile 23 going “why the hell am I doing this?”

    • Mile 23 will be the moment I start yelling at the spectators, “WHERE’S THE FREAKING FINISH LINE?!?!?!” Knowing you and the rest of the team are at the end will mentally get me there too… hot fire fighters in tuxedos handing out precious jewelry besides, of course. 😀

    • Sleep, for me, is easy as I have been tired for the past 6 years! Getting through the day without completely obsessing and annoying everyone that comes in contact with me about my plans for October 16th, now that’s another story… 😉

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