I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared.
I have 9 days until I’m supposed to run 26.2 miles. I’m ready for October 26th to be here already, but I’m also beginning to feel the nerves because of what I will do on that day.
These past four months have been an emotional and fatiguing experience; yet it’s also been an uplifting and empowering journey of self-discovery. If you want to push yourself to the limits and see what you are capable of, sign up for a marathon.
When I first received the notification that I had won a selective spot in the Marine Corps Marathon lottery, I smiled immediately and shared the news with my friends and family. The news came in the midst of a busy spring season of running four different races, the most at 13.1 miles, and yet there I was dancing for joy that I had the opportunity to run a full marathon. If people thought I was crazy before, this definitely convinced them of that truth.
Yet when that news came, it was only March. So much has happened since that morning when I woke up to that celebratory email. It occurred more than seven months ago and in that time I have racked up so much more than mileage. In that time my confidence has grown, my legs have proven themselves to be fierce tools and my sneakers are on their last leg to the finish.
As the mileage crept up, track workouts intensified and the SLRs became longer and longer, I survived. I recognized that even when I thought I could not go faster, my body amazed me with it’s ability to find energy to keep me going, both physically and mentally. I have no ideas about what crazy thing I can put myself through next or how it will even be able to compare to this mind/body experience.
But I’m still scared.
I’m scared to think that is both almost here and almost over. The friendships I have made and the lessons I have learned I hope remain long after I cross the finish line. I’m afraid of not knowing what to do with myself once running is no longer such a priority in my life. I don’t see myself not running after this experience, but I don’t know what to expect to feel after those 26.2. Will I be one of those people who signs up for another marathon two days after my first one, or will I be part of the one and done club? Fortunately I only have to wait 9 days to find out the answer; in the meantime, I guess I should start carb loading.