SEPTEMBER

Count Down to Marathon

I started out the month fairly well.  I did notice that my darn plantar felicitous (I do not think I am referencing this correctly) was still not subsiding.  I figured I could just get through the month and then deal with it.  The same pattern continues!  Me making huge promises that this month is going to be better than last month.  But there is a twist here.  I knew there is tapper and such other things that come along with completing a marathon to make sure things go smoothly.  The main goal: complete the marathon.  


As training had gone throughout the summer, and the race course ahead, there was no doubt that PR's would not be a priority this month.  Survival.  That was the main focus.  All other things seemed to be coming into line.  The kids were off to school, the bills paid, and job responsibilities keeping in line.  So, this was a task that could be done right?  

S#it Hit the Fan

On the 7th, I had the privileged to work from home.  A thunderstorm came racing through our area.  I thought I felt two thunderclaps very close together that shook the house.  Now thunder can sometimes shake stuff off my walls.  But we never get thunder rolling in so close together.  I knew something was up.  I looked out the window of the office and saw nothing, but across the hall in my daughter's room was a branch hanging off the gutters.  Dammit!  I thought a branch just struck the house.  Once the storm left though, I found a fucking tree lying on my house.  Please see the picture.  Yes!  This has nothing to do with running.  Usually, stress positively promotes all aspects of my fitness.  I run like a demon and pack on the PRs.  


Three years ago, after a very VERY intense child custody issue, I registered for a marathon in the midst of it.  I planned and ran.  I FOLLOWED that plan like it was my anchor.  Yes, I did injure myself with over training and no cross training, but I ran my best then.  It was my only constant and one thing I could control.  


This time around, my fucking foot just wanted to scream at me.   The next day after spending $4k on getting a tree off my house and putting fashionable tarp over it, I thought I would sail.  But I felt frozen.  The same thing sort of happened on Saturday when I had my last long run scheduled.  20 miles became 2 miles.  I changed shoes to counteract the foot pain but the rain and the treadmill just taunted me.  I let the enemy win.  I felt so hopeless.  


This whole adult-ing thing just sucks.  The one escape I had no longer worked for me.  Not only that, if it could work, my foot wouldn't let me get far.  I spent the next few days trying to put in a few miles here and there.  Scrapped the new shoes I bought and went back to the oldies.  I hit all the major mileages necessary for the last few weeks of training and my foot slowly began to feel normal again.  

Was I Going to Make It?

It was a long LONG month with coordinating contractors, bids, insurance, and then feeling like we should possibly schedule other remodeling efforts while the house needs up-ended.  The goal is still one thing this month: Complete a marathon.  


About a week after a 10,000 pound tree fell on my humble home, the eldest announced that she was asked by a BOY to Homecoming.  Homecoming was scheduled the same day as my marathon (which is 2 hours away from my house).  My husband jumped up to say he could handle getting her ready and asked where I kept the curling iron.  I scheduled an up-do with a licensed professional to curb any more therapy the girl would obviously need after a traumatizing hair-do -done-by-dad and his first attempt with a spiral curls.  


So the goal widened to #1 Completing a marathong and #2 Being well enough AFTER completing a marathon to drive back home and see her off to a pretty important milestone (at least for her father).


I hit all the runs I needed to the final weeks in.  My last week had me doubting.  They had to be pushed aside.  I constantly had minor freak-outs.  Like what if the damn car broke down?  Or I passed out?  


I cut off work early to get to packet pickup in time.  My youngest tagged along to have time with her grandma.  Plus, she LOVES packet-pickup.  She calls it "pre-Halloween" as many booths have goodies and candy give-aways.  


Luckily Akron is a smaller race than the past few biggies I have run.  There was less shuffle through the pick-up.  I spent the evening NOT sleeping well.  I was up every two hours in an unfamiliar blow-up mattress at my in-laws.  At 0400 I was up.  Had toast and peanut butter and dressed for the occasion.  


The nerves!  OMG the nerves.  You know you are doing something major.  My game plan was to run as much of the first half and walk up the monstrous hills and run down the second half.  I cussed like nobody else on that course.  I stopped A LOT.  I did not feel like quitting like I did so many times during training, but just wanted to REST.  This felt odd and impacted my time.  But I am happy to take them knowing it just meant I would finish a little bit better.  But then around mile 18, going down hill became a problem.  It hurt worse to run down hill than it did to run up hill.  I had to stop and walk A LOT.  But I ran a bit of every single one of those miles.  There are a lot of would-haves, could-haves and should-haves.  I know I could have done better if I trained better.  But I did not.  I am just happy to have kept up with the marathon training enough to finish it.  There is so much emotions and feelings that it brings.  The focus, the work, the joy and determination a marathon brings out in someone is something I want to experience on a regular basis.  After a long break of NOT doing a marathon, this has given me my perspective back.  


I am happy to say that I only completed 136 miles this month.  With PRIDE.  We have a house, we have vehicles, jobs to do and most importantly I have two healthy loving girls that I need to also show quality life skills.  In the face of all this shit, we still see through to our commitments.... And show up to celebrate.....Or stab their first date with a pin.