Sunday, September 27, 2009

My Final Training Run and Wonderful Fiance

For the past few weeks, I have been having serious anxiety about the race. See post below for details.

My fiance, seeing my anxiety, has been having, on average, three pep talks a day to get me confident and pumped up. He's a good man, and he loves me. I love him.

Don't worry! Don't leave! I'm not about to get mushy and weird on you.

Today was my final long-ish run. 8-10 miles was required of my legs to be prepared for the big day. Which, by the way, is in just under 7 days. Oh boy.

Today I felt a big gaping hole where my confidence in myself should be. Isaac saw that missing piece and decided to patch it up.

Quick background: Isaac used to run sometimes with two friends of his. They were both half his size and twice as fast and efficient as him. He did it to get into shape. But he's not a "runner" per se, and he hates the activity. It's boring. Aside from the fact that he hasn't done any actual running in over a year, since the last time we went running together, he's an otherwise very physically fit person. He's recently been swimming at least a mile a day, and when he doesn't do that, he's lifting, working on his core, cycling, mountain biking, and being totally awesome.

So today, my non-runner fiance decided that I needed to get totally pumped up for the big day. He, (have I mentioned he's a non runner?) went on my 10 miler. The entire time we were running together, I felt like time just flew by.

We got to talk about how we want to raise our future children. What kinds of toys are allowed, no TV allowed, what sorts of movies they'll be allowed to watch, no video games with violence, etc. (In the end, we determined our kids will probably think we're really lame until they're about 20). In between wistfully discussing our future and our family, Isaac kept telling me how proud he was of me, how awesome I was doing, how great my form was, how good I looked running, how steady I kept my pace, how awesome I was, and how pumped he was that he'd be able to tell our future children that their mother once ran a marathon!

So, aside from being reminded one stride at a time how lucky I am to be marrying someone who is so uplifting, supportive, and loving, I'm feeling pretty pumped about my marathon. Even if I'm not thrilled with my time or my performance, even if I'm in pain, exhausted, or struggling on race day, when I cross that line, the man that I'm going to spend the rest of my life with (um, whoa) is going to be beaming with pride.

And I gotta say, that alone feels really good.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Marathoner's Worst Nightmare

Right now, for this marathoner, it seems that my worst nightmare is...the marathon.

I passed the stages of excitement, confidence, and pride. Now, I'm terrified. I did great training in Oregon...until my knee started acting like poop.

But, I am running for Girls on the Run! And it's too late for the organization to refund the donors' money, so I'm running it regardless, to honor the good intentions of the people who donated to my fund raising cause.

Come to find out, no matter how in shape you are in Oregon, when you get back to 6,000 feet in Arizona, you don't feel in shape. At all. I feel like I have to learn to breathe all over again! It's not as easy as it was on the farm.

Of course, as the date looms closer, I've been having one anxiety incident after another. I'm supposed to be tapering off my training, but feel like I should be working harder to stay caught up! What to do what to do...

Add this to a series of literal nightmares in my sleep, I'm so nervous. I'm not so much aiming to finish it at this point as to just get it over with. Here are my dreams:

1. I am running the marathon with just two girls. Who seem to mix marathon running with gymnastics and break dancing. They intimidate me. Where are all the other runners?! Am I ahead of the crowd or really far behind?

2. I forgot to get my registration packet, and don't realize it until I'm already running the race. I don't have my BIB. This is a great concern to me in my dream. How can I be running without my BIB?

3. I am always running around the 2-mile marker and not making any progress. I have 24.2 miles to go but can't get past the first two miles!

4. I lost or forgot the electronic chip to go on my shoe, and because my progress and speed cannot be tracked, the marathon people think I'm cheating and kick me out of the race.

So, I apologize for a negative post in which I'm completely FREAKING OUT, but if I can't be honest, what else can I be?

I'm hoping that as I get my mental thoughts more organized, I begin to feel excited about what I'm about to accomplish again. We shall see, we shall see! Think good running thoughts for me!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It's been a while!

The Portland Marathon is in just a few weeks, and I've only got those few weeks left to prepare.

I don't want to lie, as far as marathoners go, I'm not the most organized. I feel that I should have started training further out than I did. My longest prep run will be 20 miles, which is much less than I initially planned to do by now.

I've had a few injuries. Nothing major, but things I had to allow to get better before picking up training again. The most recent of which was some knee trouble that was my own fault. I went to Oregon, and took too much advantage of the altitude difference, and ran too often, too fast, with no cross training in between. One is fully recovered, the other is on its way.

I am still going to run that marathon! I am very excited. Mostly nervous. And very in-question of my initial reason to do it.

In other exciting news, I will be crossing the finish line as Natalie, Isaac Schaefer's fiancee! I'm engaged! So much has happened this year! This marathon started off as a shared goal between three girls (my future sisters in law!). Since then, it went down to two of us. Then Alicia became a momma to be! And then there was What a busy year! (Yes, if you can't tell, I'm still very elated to be engaged and am happy to share the news everywhere!)