I rarely write about running anymore because who really wants to read about that when I could post cute pictures of my kids. But, today is going to be the exception. I am running my fourth marathon on Sunday....the Chevron Houston Marathon. I have never run a race this large (25,000 runners). I have never run a one loop marathon course. I am super excited about both these new things.
It was not my plan to run this race. I was going to run the half, which I had deferred from last year. When I got injured in August and finally accepted that I would not be running the BCS marathon in December, I changed this race to the full. Since that decision was made in mid September, I have been fully committed to being healthy and strong for this race. Coming back from my hip injury was not easy and very frustrating at times. I wish I could say that my hip is 100%, but I can't. Does it feel a thousand times better? Yes! Can I run without pain? Yes! Does it still hurt to walk at times and to sleep on my left side? I wish I could say yes. I think that my hip will always hurt to some degree if I continue to run. So, I have accepted this as my reality.
The two marathons I ran last year were huge disappointments for me....HUGE! As much as improving my fitness this fall I probably have focused more on what makes me a mentally stronger runner. I have learned a few things about myself as a runner that I hope will guide me on Sunday. And, I feel very physically prepared to run this race. I have logged many miles. All my training runs with very few exceptions were successful. I missed two runs including one 20 mile run because I was just exhausted. At the time I was convinced that would doom me on race day, but I don't think that today. It worked to my benefit. I am ready for Sunday.
There are several running truths that I plan to think about during my race. They are for me and my mind only...
1. I had a fantastic training cycle....could barely have been better
2. I have rested and am ready to run
3. I will get tired and want to quit probably several times during the race
4. 26.2 miles is a long, long, long way to run and it will hurt...a lot
5. I want to do this badly
6. My mind is the only thing that can defeat me
7. I am running for me
8. No one else will care what my time is....I am running for me
9. I could care less about who is running in front of me or behind me....I am running for me
10. My plan is perfect and will work....I am running for me
11. For once, I know I can do this and do it well....I am running for me
I know what I believe the clock can say when I cross the finish line. I believe it will. For the first time, I really believe I can run that time. I plan on proving that to myself on Sunday. I should be nervous, but I am not. I am just ready. I will be nervous Sunday morning, but a good kind of nervous. Like a balloon slowing releasing air...keep running until the finish....until all the air is gone....all of it!
Marathon #4 here I come!