Week 16 – 2 weeks away
The 20 miler is complete! That was the longest mileage I’ve ever run and the longest I will run before the marathon. From here on out the mileage tapers down to prepare me for race day. Don’t be fooled by the word ‘taper’ though. My week consists of two 4 mile runs and a 12 this weekend. A 12 mile run is now considered a short(er) run. It is crazy how your perspective changes when you change your goals.
Ok, confession time. I’m struggling to look at this marathon as something big, something that not everyone has done or will do. It stems from hubs and many of his friends having completed an Ironman. I’m only doing 1/3 of what they did that day, so of course I should be able to do it and do it with ease. I mean, I didn’t swim 2 miles and bike 112 miles prior to running, so why can’t I rock out a marathon. Not only should I be able to do it, but I should be able to have a good pace. I’m 35, in good health, have had the time to devote to the training, so why am I not running it easily in sub 4 hours. I’m not a naturally gifted athlete, but anyone can get faster if you train well and just endure a little pain right? Oh, wait a minute what was that last part…endure a little pain. Hmm, that doesn’t sound very fun…my 4 hour plus marathon is looking better and better. “Embrace the suck” is I believe a military catchphrase by origin, however entered our world through Ironman champ Chris McCormack. He used that phrase when describing triathlon and hubs used it as motivation some days during his training. I tried to use it, but it’s just not natural to me. I’m a bit like a 2 yo when it comes to embracing it, I tend to turn away and say ‘no’ or ‘I don’t wanna’.
So, what’s the big takeaway…be out of your comfort zone. I’m not competitive, never have been. I’m so not competitive that I’ve even called myself a quitter. Now, not in a derogatory, feel bad for myself kind of way, but in an ‘oh well-move-on-to-the-next-cause-I-don’t-wanna-do-this-anymore’ kinda way. Running fast (or faster) isn’t comfortable. Running 26.2 miles won’t be comfortable. But who said life should be comfortable? Living in this fallen world shouldn’t be comfortable. Christ’s death on the cross for my sins was not comfortable. He could have turned away and said ‘no, I don’t wanna.’ Fortunately for us, he did not. His life for mine. The righteous for the unrighteous. He chose to endure the pain.
I just have to remind myself that I’m doing all this for God. I want a healthy body because an unhealthy one is a distraction. God’s got a lot of work he needs done here on earth and I can’t be unfit, I owe Him more than that. I need to be able to physically tackle whatever and wherever He sends me. I can’t control my DNA and risk for heart disease based on genetics, nor whether I’ll get most cancers, but I can control my weight, exercise and the food I put in my body as fuel.
Running 26.2 miles is my way of taking control and it’s going to be uncomfortable greatness!