"The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare."
-Juma Ikangaa, 1989 NYC Marathon winner
I look a little giddy don't I. I think it's just lack of oxygen from my run.
I finished my last 20 miler on Sunday. That’s me after I had mopped the sweat off my face and changed into a clean shirt; my running shirt was covered in sweat, gel, and other things. It’s a good thing that you can’t smell me through the picture, you all would be dropping like flies right now. My daughter could barely stand to take the picture. I showered recovered and finally downed a recovery “Mighty Arrow” beer and lunch. The thought crossed my mind to cut back on the beer until after my marathon. Nah.
Anyway, back to my 20 miler. It was tough and came at the end of a tough week of training AND work. At the 14 mile mark, I pretty much hit the wall. I had been holding onto my race pace for awhile now and my legs felt good, but I was just exhausted both mentally and physically and a well just broke and I started to cry. I sat down and called my husband to tell him how tired I was.
“Well, what are you going to do?” He gently asked.
The thought hadn’t yet crossed my mind that I could just quit. I could. No more pain, no more aches, I could just walk away and say DONE. I thought about it. Then I thought of all I had been through in the last 6 months. I thought of all those times where I had pictured me crossing the finish line in the San Antonio Marathon and the fact that I never got the chance to do it. I pictured the words that my coach had put onto my schedule: “This is your last 20 miler before the race Tara! Make it count!” Quitting would be too easy, I haven’t come this far to walk away now.
I replied to him:
“Well hell…..I’m not going to quit, I’m just going to keep plugging away until I’m done. I’ll call you with an update later.”
Make it count. Yup, I managed to hold onto my race pace and I finished in 3 hours. It was tough, but I have a feeling that my first marathon will be even tougher, so it was good mental practice.
17 days to go. It’s all in the bank now and I’m into the taper. Oh man, does taper sound good right now. The scary thing to me is, I have NO idea what to expect from the marathon.