As a runner you never feel “ready” for a big race.  You question your runs, especially the last few. You pick apart what you did wrong on those Saturday long runs. Your breathing suddenly seems ineffective. Suddenly that clear vision of the finish line you’ve had all this time vanishes. Out of no where aches and pains appear and those that already existed magnify (case in point: I’ve convinced myself that the tiny blister on my big toe is reason for amputation). I dare someone to tell me they’ve ever kicked back during their taper week and felt 100% confident in their ability. And after you’re done telling me- please teach me how to be just like you.
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I don’t feel ready to run 13.1 miles.  And I most certainly don’t feel ready to run them by myself. The furthest I’ve ever run alone is 11 miles. And in training for Timberman I only ran to 10. Those extra 3 miles are a long way to put my faith in. I know that I could get to the start line and completely freak myself out. I know that I could let myself go out far too fast and crash and burn. I know there will be a point where I hit my wall and want to give up. The memory of what a half marathon feels like on my body is still incredibly vivid. How it feels in my brain is even stronger.
But despite all of my worries and doubts, I feel ready in other ways. Ready in ways I’ve never felt before. Ready to figure out if I can ever handle the mental aspect that goes hand in hand with being a distance runner. Ready to see if I can fuel myself properly. Ready to see that those 10 miles were truly all I needed. Ready to see if I can pace myself to run smart and steady.
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Ready because for once, the excitement of success slightly overshadows my fear of failure. Ready because I want to see if the voice inside my head can push me to keep going, instead of the one running alongside me. Ready because I know there will be a team waiting at the finish line who is depending on me. Ready because I want to call my fiancee and scream “I DID IT!” proudly. Ready to prove to those who have believed in me all along that I finally believe in myself. Ready because I want to see that I am stronger than I think I am.
And at the end of the day, maybe that’s the only kind of “ready” you ever really need to be.
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About Kathleen

When your legs get tired run with your heart.

Posted on August 13, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. You have got it! Yo are stronger than you think! Though I will admit not knowing the exact time I was running (or running later in the day) would freak me out – but you have alot more experience than I do.

    I am the one freaking out that my first 1/2 is less than 8 weeks away – I ran 8 and 9 miles a few weeks ago, but since have been sick and can’t run and then I banged myself up at Spartan this past weekend and wondering if I am even going to be able to get anything in this weekend (the original plan was for the big 1-0 this weekend – obviously that isn’t going to happen!) I have a blister on my heel also – I know the feeling about amputation!

    Good luck. Can’t wait to hear about it!

  2. You will rock it! Trust the training 🙂

  3. You got this! Take some deep breaths & try to enjoy it 🙂

  4. You’ll do great!! I did my first half last year and I still look back and don’t know how I did it since I hardly ran the last 3 weeks because of shin splints. I’m doing another this fall and should be in week 3 of training and finding it hard already. Just got to keep telling myself I’ve done this before. You will rock, just have a good time. And you aren’t alone, you’ll be out running with a whole lot of people. Just because you don’t know their names doesn’t mean you all can’t cheer each other on 🙂

  5. I’m just getting around to reading this now and I wanted to let you know that you are going to do great! Everyone worries the week before a big race, but it sounds like you are getting mentally prepared for it. I can’t wait to hear all about it. Good luck!

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