I have been officially training for this marathon for about 8 weeks now. The next 3 weeks are going to be hardest, with the highest mileage before I taper off. I know I wrote a post a couple weeks about about running making me anxious and I now realize that feeling was just a small preview of what I experienced last week.
After a 16 mile run last weekend, I finished 5, 5, and 8 mile runs last week before setting out to conquer another 16 miles on my own on Friday. I was so nervous. I even had a hard time sleeping Thursday night. I thought about the run all day Friday and when I finally got out there on the trail something happened to me that I’ve never experienced before. I don’t even know what to call it – an anxiety attack maybe? I’m not really sure, but I could feel something wasn’t right from the moment I started.
I just felt different. It wasn’t my body though – my knees and ankles felt fine. I got about 2 miles in and had to stop. I knew how I was feeling wasn’t normal. Thankfully I was running with my phone and I stopped and called my sister. I kept walking and she talked me down. I was ready to run again! I got about another 2 miles and the same feeling set in again. I stopped again. At almost the same time, I got a text from Jeni – You are doing great! – so I called her up. Again, I felt better after our talk, but decided that I should head back in the direction of my car. I was about 4.5 miles in so at least I would get 9 miles in, right?
I started running and didn’t even make it 2 miles before I had to stop this time. I just wanted to go home, but since I was in the middle of trail, 4 miles from my car I knew I had to stick it out. By this point I was more than anxious, I was upset. Upset that I felt anxious. Upset that I couldn’t even run 2 miles without stopping. But most of all upset that because I was scared I wasn’t going to be able to make it to this marathon.
I walked and talked to Eric on the phone most of the 4 miles back to my car. I decided that I needed a break. No talking about running, thinking about running or actual running for at least 2 days. I am definitely much calmer after taking the weekend off, but I’m still unsure about the next month.
I guess I could just throw in the towel now, but I don’t think that would be fair to myself. I have worked really hard for the last 8 weeks and I know I would regret it if I don’t try to finish my training. So that’s what I’m going to do. Tonight I’m going to lace up my running shoes and head out the door. I have to. Marathon training isn’t supposed to be easy, right?
With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable.