I always win head games … Unless they’re with myself.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I went into this race with such a humbled attitude, I hardly recognized myself. Clear-headed and mature when faced with adversity is totally not my thing – I’m a whiner and have been known to throw down a serious temper tantrum or two. I can grin and bear with the best of them – most won’t even know anything is wrong, but inside I’m all “why is this happening to meeee?! This SUCKS! Ugh. Fix it Fix it Fix it!”
denying, accepting, dealing with my first serious running ouchie and subsequently losing the last two weeks of training, my approach to Marathon Numero Uno flipped a bitch (which is legal in CA, which is awesome) and totally restructured itself, ignoring common decency and failing to consult with my ego first.
– My goal time (4 hours) was tossed aside.
– My adamant claim to “run the WHOLE race, no stopping/walking” was replaced with “just get across the damn finish line – walk, crawl, steal a Razor scooter, somersault – WHATEVER it takes”
– The picture-perfect, pain-free, sweat-free, Vogue-airbrushed finish I’d been imagining all throughout training turned into something more resembling a Holocaust documentary. Certainly this would NOT be pretty.
(I tried my damndest, anyways. Photo proof to follow)
Saturday, the day before
D-Day the big race, we went to packet pick up early since we had to be in Youngstown for B to pick up his silly diploma for his silly doctorate degree. Pssh.
I guess I’m having issues surrendering my title as “Breadwinner”, and my dreams of having a house-boy to cook and clean for me are dissipating with each passing day as “Dr. B” [sigh…] Oh well.
So anyways, packet pick up/race expo is one of my fav parts of racing, because that’s when you finally get hit with the first real “oh-shit-I’m-about-to-run-a-freaking-(race distance)-this-is-AWEsome” excitement. You’re shoulder-to-shoulder with hundreds of other crazy folk who get off on the same torturous hobby you do, and it’s a high no pharmaceutical or illegal substance can compete with. Having your bib in hand, seeing the roads along the race route closed down, and the rows upon rows upon block-long rows of port-a-potties are sure signs that the big day is FINALLY here.
Runner’s Best Friend
On the way to Ytown B asked how I felt. I told him that being nervous about my foot was doing me a favor by not being nervous about the massively long distance I’m going to run. I tried to take as one of those whole “glass half-full” things everyone always talks about. 26.2 miles no longer seemed like the insurmountable beast it once did – instead 26.2 miles in excruciating please-somebody-amputate-my-foot did, and had me shaking in my sports bra.
Fearing that obsessively icing, resting, and ibuprofen-ing wouldn’t be enough, I resorted to the last means of assistance I could think of.
I prayed, naturally.
Dear Gods of Pedorthics, Pain Management, All Things Running, and the creator of the Saucony Triumph 6’s,
I would attend your place of worship if I knew where it was, really I would. Instead, I’ll ask that you take my sacrifice of two crucial weeks of training as my humble offering in return for your mercy, and not totally screwing me tomorrow morning.
Oh, and if you have time, the calluses on my feet are not attractive. I won’t be mad if you permanently remove them.
But really, the pain in my left foot. Seriously.
Sarah Soon-To-Be (marathoner)
To Be Continued…