Last week was filled with distractions that kept me from thinking about the race. I feel as though that has drastically changed this week as the race is on my mind a lot more. Sometimes that can be a good thing, as it forces me to make sure I have everything in order for race day. Yet, at the same time doubts that creep in can be a whirlwind of annoyance. The past few nights I have not slept particularly well as the race enters my mind as I drift off to sleep. Despite some of the things making this week mentally difficult, I find myself getting more and more excited. Truthfully I think some of the excitement is more anxiousness, as I simply want to know how the race will go and whether or not I meet my goals. On the other hand, I simply love to run, and not logging many miles over the past two weeks has been annoying – so I am looking forward to getting out there and being able to run again.
One of the things I truly enjoy about running is the way in which it allows me to escape from everything else. I feel as though when I lace up my shoes and hit the trail, I can block out everything else going on around me. It’s just me, my thoughts, the trail, and the miles to be conquered. It’s a beautiful feeling. It is also a much needed time of rest and solitude in a world that never seems to slow down.
As I am in the middle of my taper period for my next marathon, I have actually found that the place of distractions has been reversed. With a new school year starting, a new soccer season already under way, and plenty to keep me busy every day, I have found that life has kept me distracted from running, rather than running being a distraction from life.
Yesterday I was gearing up for a quick run and was stopped by a student who knows I am running in a few days. The question asked was, ‘Is your mind going crazy thinking about it all the time?’ Normally for me, a taper period is when the flood of doubts and mental games begin. However, as I was asked the question, I was actually reminded that my race is only ten days away. With everything else going on, I was amazed to realize that I had in large parts forgotten about the race. Therefore, when I went out on my run… all I could think about was the race. Pace, hydration, incline, weather, splits, walls, gu gels, blisters, etc. Logistics of driving, sleeping arrangements, rest, food. “How will this race compare to previous races? Will I be proud with my race? How soon will I recover? Did I train enough? Am I properly tapering?” Then, as soon as I hit the stop button on my watch – the distractions reserved, and I began thinking through all the things that don’t involve running, and running faded off into the caverns of my mind.
One thought I did have while running that I felt like sharing here – was to re-post previous blogs I have written about my previous marathons. As I was mentally comparing and reminiscing about past races, I thought it would be fun to re-read and re-post previous thoughts. Below is what was written after my third marathon, which I ran in 2010 in Basel, Switzerland.
Click here to find the blog.
As I have done throughout the year, the first of every month is an opportunity to post and reflect on the progress I have made toward my goals.
1.Books: I have sold a total of 74 books, leaving 51 to go!
2.Shirts: 10 sold.
3. Miles: I have run a total of 1,250! I surpassed my goal last week and am now in the taper stage of training for my next race.
4. I have run two marathons so far in 2014, at least two more (most likely three). The next marathon I will run is September 14, so under two weeks away.
5. In those two marathons I ran a 3:16 and a 3:22 (rounded times) for an average of 3:19, one minute faster than my goal! This next race will hopefully see my overall average decrease as I have been working real hard in my training for the past few months.