I was asked if I'm running an upcoming marathon and if I'm keeping it a secret. Yes, I am, and No, I'm not. Simple answers, but not so simple in my head.
I'm running Capitol City in 9 days. I didn't intentionally keep it a secret, but in my head I'm trying to keep it low profile for many reasons, so I think I avoided admitting it, not wanting to jinx it.
1) I've trained for Capitol City twice - both times I got pregnant. It became a big joke not to train for it unless I was planning a bigger family. So - with 9 days to go - I'm most definitely not pregnant, and am cleared to run.
2) I haven't run a marathon for a couple of years. My marathon PR is from 1994 (before having kids), and I haven't run as fast since (4 other marathons). My training has gone really well, but I'm just not sure what goals to set. I'm not really looking to PR since it's been so long, I'm not looking to qualify for Boston - I've done that, and I know I can finish, so that really isn't a goal either. If my training goes well I have a few more marathons scheduled before the end of the year that I can look at running faster. And yet, why not just go for it at this one? See what I've got?
3) Getting over my injury. Sometimes I even forget I had one because I don't notice it unless I do a certain stretch or a few certain positions in yoga. I took some time off of running to heal some overtraining injuries. I had started training again a year and a half ago. On Presiden't Day 2005 in February I went for a run with my dog. We were running down a residential street with cars parked on both sides. There was a dog sitting in one of these parked cars that we hadn't noticed until it started barking right as we were next to the car. It spooked my dog so much, that she ran back to me - in front of me feet. (She's an odd dog and although I carry the leash in my right hand, has a need to run on my left.) It all happened so fast, I'm still not even sure what happened. Somehow I tripped over her and came down pretty hard on my knee. I was scraped up pretty good from the pavement. And I was pissed. I started limping toward the nearby houses looking for somebody to chew out for leaving their dog in the car. Some guy came out and asked if I was okay. Then I felt sorta guilty so I said I was fine. (He could tell by my blood and my limp and my tear-stained face that I was not.) He asked if he could get me some water or call somebody for me. I was much too proud (stupid), so I said again that I was fine and proceeded to run down the street. When I reached the corner and was out of his sight, I stopped running and tried to stop the panic and hyperventilation that was beginning. The only way home, unless I went back past the guy, which I definitely wasn't doing, was to loop around. I found a community center on that loop, and intended to use the phone to call my husband. It was President's Day, remember? So the community center was closed. From there it was only about a third of a mile home - very short - but all uphill and probably one of the steepest hills in many miles around. I made it home limping, crying,etc. to find no one there. I had no idea where my husband was, so I sat and cried some more until he came home. I don't know how I knew, but I knew it was bad. And I was still so flippin' mad because it was such a freak thing to fall over the dog. So, long story short - it was a PCL injury, which are actually fairly rare. It was several weeks before I could walk without limping - several months before I could run without pain and uphill at all, and August before I could actually start training again. 6 months of no training because I fell over my dog. Injuries are so miserable - keeping a runner from running is the worst. So I'm horrified at the thought of getting injured again and not being able to run. I've built up my mileage ever so slowly, and still run very minimal mileage for a marathon base.
4) I actually thought for a while that my kids had a track meet on the same day as the marathon. The calendar was messed up, and I didn't wanna miss the meet, so I wasn't sure I was going to be able to run the marathon. The meet is on a Saturday. The marathon is not. :)
I run for myself. However, I'v spent several stressed-out weeks feeling like I was being forced to compete or to prove myself to others. I finally got over it all. I could go on tangents forever. I had several posts in January that I ended up deleting because they were so negative, cranky and frustrated. There's no changing people, just my outlook. I am who I am, and I run for me and my own goals, no matter who shows up on race day.
I've been so freaked out periodically that I've refused to cross-train recently or do anything that might affect my marathon - I was nervous last weekend that I might sprain my ankle on the steep trails. So I have 9 more days, in which my house will get way too clean, and I will get really bored and then really stressed and cranky and take it out on everyone in my household. My mid-week next week my husband will be so looking forward to me running just to get it out of my system. After this marathon, then I have lots of lofty training and racing goals for the summer. My first, though, is to leave for Chicago a few days after the marathon, play hard and have lots of fun, and run the Soldier Field 10 Mile with my camera and with my husband and enjoy every moment on the course!