Wrote this up yesterday and forgot to post, so forgive the day shift.  My brain is a little better today, but still… crazy.

Oh marathon training.

On the way home from my run today, I had a weird thought.  Triathlon training feels like hanging out with the dudes.  Occasionally there’s drama or a bad day but generally it’s just chill and there aren’t as many highs and lows.  In a week, I would rarely feel down, because maybe a run sucked, but my bike was AWESOME and I had a solid swim so it was a-ok and during the rest of the time I was probably sleeping, eating, drinking or working anyway so I didn’t really have time to think much.  Marathon training, it’s like hanging out with the cheerleader clique at the mall.  If you have a great run, it’s like the highest high and you’re like bffs forever.  If you have a shitty run, or feel down about your training, it’s like they’re snubbing you for no reason and calling you a slut behind your back.  And you don’t have your biking and swimming bros to go hang out with instead.

Because that doesn’t matter right now.  The amazing-tastic trainer rides I’m doing lately mean nothing to me right now because they are not directly related to getting me closer to crossing that line in… a week and 3 days.  Yeah.  That’s not helping either.

So I figured I was going to allow myself one post of my worries and then get on with it.  I did say I was putting my mental game in a box and saving it for race day, but I didn’t invite stupid brain back to the party.

Worry #1: I’m not ready.  It’s just the fear of the unknown.  I have not covered more than 20 miles before.  I have attempted a lot of long runs where either my head, my heart, or my body didn’t show up that day.  I know completing a half ironman has helped my confidence and endurance, but it’s not the same animal.  Plus, I did BONK at the end due to body issues.

Worry #2 Not enough medium long runs.  I did a lot of them over the summer, but this whole “not light until almost 8 am” and just some lack of motivation has had me doing a lot of shorter and 2-a-days instead of 8-12 continuous miles, and I’m worried that this will affect me.  I know ultra runners do a lot of this type of training and they seem to get through, but still.  Nothing about the lead up to this race could be called conventional.

Worry #3 My mind and my body won’t work together.  I have learned in the last month that my body can hold an 11-11:30 pace forever.  That is it’s happy spot.  My brain wants me more around 12:30-13.  My body actually does not like the slowing, and my form breaks down and I start to hurt more and I slow more, and it’s this vicious cycle which will include walking (ultimate defeat) and cursing and general malaise and discontent.  I need my brain to fight to keep going at the pace which my body is comfortable.  I’ve picked a pretty reasonable MP, I just need to execute.

Worry #4 The tireds.  While my runs are actually going great, I have just been REALLY TIRED this week and all I want to do is curl up and sleep.  This is TAPER.  I’m supposed to feel like a caged tiger.  I feel like a caged two-t0ed sloth.

Worry #5 To run with Zliten or not.  He’s doing the half.  I can have awesome company for 11 miles and then deal with the grievance of a running partner for the last 15.  Or,  I can fly solo and not have the down, but also not have the ability to just focus on running with someone for the first 11.  I’ve been going back and forth for the last month.   It may be a race day call.

Worry #6 I stopped strength training regularly in Sept and I really haven’t picked it up.  My body has just been too dang sore to even think about squats and lunges and laziness ensued on crunches and curls.  Hopefully this won’t screw me come M-day (and really, really, for real, I will pick it back up right after.  Honest engine.)

Worry #7 My fucking appetite.  My miles may be on taper, but my stomach thinks I’m currently in peak training mode.  I’ve been trying to mitigate the calorie damage by shoving it full of good quality food like carrots and hummus, apples, nuts, cheese, veggies, salads, etc, but I’m also eating 2.5 (small breakfast, big lunch, decent dinner) foods and some treats along the way.  And it’s not just like I’m eating my emotions – my stomach is like “bitch, give me FOOOD” even if my head is like, “Sigh… really?  We just ate.  Kinda sick of eating right now.”  My metabolism is still definitely on overdrive.

Worry #8 Work.  Huge deadline basically on M day.  The week before is going to be potential stress, long hours, etc.  Really, not ideal for the week before my race.  I need some calmness to get my head ready and I’m afraid I won’t get it.

I mean seriously.  Today I have eaten a bean and cheese breakfast taco, a side of potatoes, amy’s veggie lasagna, a side salad, carrots and hummus, jerky, a fun size candy, sunflower seeds, and it’s just 5pm and OMG NEED DINNER NAOWWWWW (and it’s 2 hours + away).

And there is even the “things I shouldn’t worry about yet” category but are…

Worry #8 My fucking appetite after the marathon and how much I should feed the stomach beast.  It is going to be a painful process adjusting to being a normal human.  Calorie tracking.  No meal-snacks in the middle of the afternoon.  I can’t think about how long it’s been since I counted a calorie, pretty much I just ate to keep myself from falling over.  I’m scared of being normal again and I need to give myself time to adjust but not enough time that I gain a bunch of weight, but not so little that I’m still burning up calories like crazy and feel crappy all the time…. really, it would be much easier to just keep training, no? 🙂

Worry #9 I’m not going to know what to do with myself after I stop training.  I mean, I am looking forward to this with all my being right now, but I’m scared that after a few days I won’t know what to do with myself since it’s been since spring 2011?  And once I get used to it, will I not want to start back up? (yeah, I know, TOTALLY RATIONAL stuff)

On top of that, I’ve been doing some deep thought about next season and goals and decisions and shit.  What I really need to be doing is clearing my mind, relaxing, and just visualizing my perfect race like I do for triathlons and calm the fuck down.  As they say, the hay is in the barn.  Nothing I can do right now about my confidence (or lack theirof) in the training I did.  All I can do is just run enough miles to keep my legs fresh but let them recover from a marathon-training month boot camp and work on getting my head on straight.

Doing that means a lot of saying NO.  Up through Sunday, it’s normal operations.  Monday on, if I’m not working, running a very few miles, or eating good food – I will be legs up or sleeping.  Minus the finishers party for the Texas Tri Series where I get to go receive my second place AG (:D) and be good and not drink or stay out late.   I’ve already said no to 2 things that week and I imagine I’ll have to say no to more.  But think of all the things I can say yes to in the coming weeks, with a sweet medal hanging from my kitchen cabinet, and a great story to tell.

Breathe in, breathe out.  3 EZ miles tomorrow AM, 8 miles MP Saturday AM, 3 miles Monday, 5 miles Tuesday, 2 miles Thursday (some combo of M pace and EZ – nothing above 11s)… and that’s all she wrote.  Now that my worries are out, I can focus on the positive and clear my head, and make sure my legs and my brain are BFFs.

Question of the week: what’s the thing that you are most worried about right now? (Type it out, release it, let it go, and move on….)