Saturday, March 26, 2011

Seven Weeks

So I know it's been quiet over here.

Part of that is it's the end of the 3rd quarter. In fact, I have a pile of AP essays sitting next to me now begging to be graded. Sigh.

But part of that is that I just haven't quite known what to say.

I got ANOTHER infection last weekend. The doctor thinks it was a secondary sinus infection. Basically, I felt like butt. Headache that literally had me laying around like a slug (which works very well with two toddlers--my house looked like a tornado had come through) and begging for mercy with the most disgusting matter ever coming out of my nose. After a 5 mile treadmill run that literally almost had me in tears because how on earth was I ever going to run this pace again?, I cried uncle and called the doctor. She put me on antibiotics. I've taken it relatively easy over here--a MUCH better 5 mile run yesterday morning that even had me feeling like Rocky and busting out some pushups afterwards, but when it comes down to it....

I am still not 100%.

It's been over 2 weeks. Two very, very important weeks of training in a very, very important part of my marathon training plan.

To say I've been panicking is the understatement of the century.

Yesterday I lost it. I came home from work and was already bawling. Matt had no clue what to do with me. I just kept thinking how things were going so well, and this was my one chance before the times dropped down to what is darn near impossible for me, given my daily life responsibilities.

I felt like I was watching it slip away.

Emergency email into Coach Emily (who, by the way, kicked some serious ass at IM San Juan 70.3...she's pretty awesome like that). Basically saying something to the effects of:

Am I out of time?

Out of miles?

Do I give up? Do I drop to the half or do I readjust my goals and accept that this isn't in the cards?

She gave me a nice and much needed ass-kicking to the head. Here are some of the points raised:

1. There are 7 weeks left. There is still time to ramp up my miles. Not much, but enough.

2. What's the worst that can happen here? I blow up? So let's say I blow up. The sun will still come up on May 16th. The earth will continue to rotate on its axis. Life will go on.

3. She directed me to this article. Specifically, the part about Kara Goucher at the end. Is awesome. "I either need to be all in, or this isn't going to key word now is of limits of myself, free not to do anything but run as hard as I can..."

I'm coming to terms with the reminder that this is, in fact, a MARATHON. There are NEVER any guarantees in a marathon. There is ALWAYS the chance you will blow up. There was before, and there still is now. These two weeks have not changed that entirely.

This has never, ever been easy for me. I am not the best athlete. I never have been. But what I do have going for me is a borderline irrational level of determination. I know that if I lined up on May 15th wearing a half marathon bib or standing by the 3:50 pace group, regardless of what happened at the finish line, I wouldn't sleep well that night. I would wonder. I would feel that I haven't given it my all.

That I wasn't all in.

The next seven weeks will be a true test of how far my heart can get me. I am going to have to work harder now than I was going to before. (And that was going to be pretty damn hard to begin with.) I am going to focus on just doing what I can do--letting these two weeks go, and focusing on the future.

And now I'm about to get all history on yo' asses. ;)

One of my favorite quotes that I always give my AP kids every year before they take their test--in a note I write to them with smarties stapled to it--is the one I had in my bento box the day I did Ironman almost five years ago. I think I need a refresher.

"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat." --Teddy Roosevelt

No one ever said this would be easy. Especially for me.

It's about damn time I freed myself from my own limits.


Rural Girl said...

OK, this is what I like:
#2 and "a borderline level of irrational determination"
That's what will get you through!

Mnowac said...

Hey Sarah - This winter of training has me thinking I will never train for a spring marathon again with any kind of time hopes b/c I have been sick so much. But if for some reason Cleveland doesn't work out for you time wise, you should come with me to South Bend IN on June 4th and try again. I am taking a half day off work on Fri and driving there and right back after the race b/c I have Phish tickets Sat night. You can share my room. Just wanted to put it out there so you have a backup. But I bet you bust it out. Less is more sometimes.

T said...

this winter has been brutal on everyone in terms of sickness it seems! my fiance (and blog partner) and i are hoping to do our first half-IM this summer and he's been sick twice now and i'm in my fifth week of crap (cold to sinus infection to bronchitis).

you seem like someone who will get through this and your determination gives hope to someone like me. :)