Saturday, November 17, 2012

Marathon Madness

I know it's been forever and a day since I've posted. This time tomorrow I will be at least a quarter of the way into a marathon, so I thought this would be the perfect time to write a post. I imagine I will be too jittery tonight to be able to manage a post.

You know, I am not entirely certain about what I want to write about, so I suppose I will start with a recap of the past few months of marathon madness. Marathon training has pretty much overtaken my life the past several months; I've done little else besides eat, sleep, and run (and of course Zumba class!). I've spent months being exhausted to the point of passing out as my head hit the pillow every night and using every ounce of my being to drag myself out of bed in the morning. I have struggled through weight gains and being starving the entire time and having to fight between my own desire to calorie restrict and my body's desire to consume fuel. Just about every time I've gained weight in the past months, I would stop obsessing about what I ate and eat what I was craving and I would lose the said gained pounds. If you have been a follower of my blog for long,  you might remember that I am quite familiar with the concept of throwing my body into starvation mode throughout my weight loss journey. I missed maybe 3 runs throughout training, and changed up my mileage a few times where I may have skipped a short run but added mileage to my other runs to compensate.

My worst run was what was supposed to be an 18 mile run, but what turned into an 11 mile run. I had only a few hours of sleep (albeit I felt fine enough - it was probably adrenaline), the heat was smothering and my mindset was not positive. I called Mark at mile 8 in tears exclaiming that I just could not do it, he tried to calm me down and said he would come get me, but I protested and told him I would at least try to make it to mile 12, which would put me back at the house. At mile 10, I called Mark back in tears again and asked him to come get me, by the time he got there I had made it to mile 11 and wished that I had just pushed myself to mile 12. At this point in my training I had already accomplished an 18 mile run so I knew I could do it, it just shows to prove that a good long run really does depend on a great many variables. My best run would have been my 22.25 mile run that I accomplished about 3 weeks ago, if my silly knee had not started acting up! :( I felt amazing, even when I got to 22, cardio and fatigue wise I felt like I could keep going! My knee was killing me though. I've been babying my knee, I really haven't run much in the past two weeks, maybe 25 miles max? Foam rolling, aleve, glucosamine and ice... I hope that's enough! I just finished up breakfast: a light sausage, egg and reduced fat cheese sandwich on a whole wheat English muffin with two small blueberry muffins. Hey, don't judge me! I'm carbing up! And I may take a few marathon pictures with a protruding belly, but I'm cool with that so long as I make it through!

What I've written so far is really not much as far as summarizing what my marathon training has meant to me. It's been an incredible journey, pushing myself beyond limits I had set for myself long ago: Ever since being a child and not being picked for sports in school because I was the fat kid. Since having an extreme fear of all things physical because I was fat and couldn't do it. Even since being fat and being able to out walk/hike many of my thin friends because I had the endurance even then. I should have known back then that I had more in me than I realized. I remember my best friend making a comment about how I just kept going and going and some of our thin friends were wearing out. I should have known then that I wasn't pushing myself, wasn't bettering myself, wasn't trying to excel. This marathon training has been in so many ways just like my weight loss journey. I've gone above and beyond what I ever thought I deserved to even aspire to and the moment of truth comes tomorrow. Tomorrow I will know what I am truly made of. Because despite what people may think, the true battle tomorrow has nothing to do with my body or with my training or with how many more miles I'll be running than I've trained up for... it has everything to do with me and my mind. It will be a battle of wills and I am determined to win. So a new development, not only do I have an achy knee, a congested chest (I am almost certain it's allergies because it has been the same for the past three days), but I have suddenly developed a little bit of a stomach issue. The good thing? I am more fucking determined to achieve this than I was 10 minutes ago! I am so very, very, VERY grateful that I have people that love and care about me that have supported me throughout my training and really throughout everything. Mark has always told me I could do everything I have ever aspired to, my sister, Shakeilah is truly the best sister I could ever ask for and my dad has been behind me since day one. My best friend, Kathleen, was even thinking of coming up, but we didn't plan enough in advance so she will come for a belated celebration. And what's even better? Rik, our Ragnar Relay captain is coming to run with me! Yes, WITH me as in beside me the entire time! I'm so grateful and excited to have someone be there, that I do not have to do the entire run by myself! I'm giddy! And nervous. :-S My hands have not stopped sweating since yesterday, I really cannot wait for the run to be over so I can have dry hands again... Anyway, I must leave, we are headed to Tulsa now! I will leave you with a picture that my sister took last weekend when she helped me clean out my office/dressing room as part of my birthday present. Looking at this picture this morning I realized that crossing the finish line tomorrow afternoon will be the pinnacle of all successes I have reached in my life as of yet. I will be even more proud of that than I am of losing all that weight, but then, years ago I never would have thought I'd have succeeded at that. And a year ago I never would have thought I would be preparing for a marathon tomorrow. Do not be your own blockade, do not stop yourself from succeeding and being what you want to be; absolutely nothing is stopping you but yourself.