Honor The Journey: 26.2 Miles

Today I registered for the Detroit Free Press Marathon and 26.2 miles of torment. On my goals this year I listed running a marathon. My last full was in 2012 and after I thought I was a half-marathon/OCR girl. Well, like anything that has also constantly evolved. Last year after hitting 20 miles on my own and building and working towards it I knew I could do 26.2. I wanted to do a fall race and I wanted to do something that WASN’T Detroit.

The Conundrum

Let me elaborate on why….Since my 30th birthday I have ran the Detroit half-marathon 6 times, last year destroying my PR and even on that particular run I struggled.  So many years I signed up and didn’t train properly, so many years I ran and let myself down, and so many years I hit mile 9 and started to lose confidence, momentum, and faith in myself.  From mile 10-12 I’m usually beating myself to death with thoughts on how I’m not a real runner and don’t deserve to be out there.  This past year I overcame those tugs at my brain, but those last 3 miles were difficult even though physically I was on point.

Add to that struggle that the back half of Detroit is notoriously dull and long.  Chicago was my first full marathon in 2012 and it was with a group of friends and people all running their first marathon.  The course was flat and I was in a new city.  I lived in Detroit for a time.  The last 13.1 miles does not cover exciting ground.

The Magicals

As I’m stewing I’m also thinking about the positive aspects of this choice.  I’m familiar with the course so I can train accordingly.  I know what mental obstacles I have to face, and I can do my best to prepare to overcome them.  I know Detroit in October is playing weather roulette.  It could be 70 or snowing and I’ll be trained in both temperatures.  I’ll also run the full 26.2 before race day,which is not typical for a lot who train for marathons.  I know what must be done to prepare and while the anxiety I feel about it makes me tremble, knowledge is power.

Why Did I Resolve Myself to a Less Than Perfect Choice?

There are no perfect choices!  After spending several days quite ill I had a lot more time to let my mind wander.  Not running on those days began to eat at me.   I looked at my calendar and knew it was time to commit to a marathon. The family summer is already filling up and I don’t have a lot of flexibility in the fall.  It was mostly impulsive.  But, I think if I waited much longer I would have probably postponed it till next year and I couldn’t do that to myself. Now I can work out the details, set up my training schedule, and focus on what I need to do.  I’ve also announced it all over my social media and wrote this blog post, so I can’t get all sneaky and back out.

So……buttons on your underwear?

I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and committed to doing something that I’m absolutely terrified of for many, many reasons. Failure, the course, the time I’m going to have to commit to training, my super secret goal pace, running and training on my own again (this I’m actually growing to love), and facing the monster that is my own inner monologue. But there’s no time like the present, and I’m going to get these 26.2 miles done.

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