The Marathon Countdown Begins

28 Sep

In a week and a half, I will be attempting my first marathon. In 10 days, I somehow have to get the energy to run 26.2 miles through the city of Denver. I am starting to freak out to put it mildly. I sleep soundly, but I wake up in a panic, thinking about the race. I’ve been training for 10 months and given it everything I could, but what if I don’t finish in the allotted 6 hours? I don’t think I could handle that disappointment.

Other than losing weight, I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard for something. And I don’t think I’ve ever struggled so much. I’ve always been the over achiever type in that if I’m interested in something and apply myself, I’m usually very, very good at it. With running, I’ve had to eat a slice of humble pie and accept the fact that I’m not good at it. In fact I’m rather bad given my pace and finishing times.

But it gives me a joy that was missing with my other exercise routines. There is such an extraordinary sense of accomplishment that comes with running, unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Anytime I reach a new distance, I’m moved to the point of tears in awe of what I’ve done. So maybe I’m not good at it, but every time I finish a run, I feel like I’ve won Olympic gold.

I am completely terrified of the race that lies ahead. Everyone is telling me to calm down and enjoy it, which I will most certainly try to do. The race officials are working really hard to make it a fun race by providing cheering squads and rock bands at every mile. But the doubt lingers in my mind. My doctor said I could never be a runner, what if he was right? I know he’s not really, after all I’ve run up to 20 miles. That’s a whole lot of “not running.” But at the same time, with the way my head works, if I don’t finish the marathon, it’s like I didn’t run at all.

I have people to run with and a lot of friends and family coming to cheer me on. Plus, there is such a camaraderie with running that everyone tries to encourage and take care of each other. Deep, deep down, locked away somewhere I do know I’ll finish. It’s just hard to let that confidence see the light of day as I face this challenge.

6 Responses to “The Marathon Countdown Begins”

  1. runningthriver September 28, 2011 at 10:04 AM #

    Good Luck!!!!!

  2. Noel D. September 29, 2011 at 5:46 AM #

    Thank you! 🙂

  3. laurapayette October 2, 2011 at 8:16 PM #

    I’m so excited for you! I have a friend whose boyfriend did an Ironman with a bunch of teammates he had trained with. One of the women was slow and not sure she’d finish in the allotted time. Turns out she didn’t, at least officially. BUT! She finished. Even as the race officials were tearing down the course, she kept going and her teammates were there to support her. Her husband jumped in to complete the run with her. She crossed the finish line and one of her teammates who had finished and gotten his medal gave it to her, telling her she’s the one who had really earned it. Just hearing the story made me cry. (I’ve done a terrible job of retelling it.) The point is, no matter what happens, you can do it!

    • Noel D. October 3, 2011 at 6:00 AM #

      Oh wow, that story made me cry too! Thanks for sharing it. 🙂 🙂


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