Challenge Myself

Like I've stated before I tend to do things on a whim. Sometimes I do things without fully thinking them through. Looks like I've done just that again. I've went ahead and registered for a marathon. Yep, that's right a FULL marathon. And it's not far away in the future. It's tomorrow!

While it's true that I haven't actually completed marathon training, I'm not trying to go out strong, or looking for any specific finish time, or anything crazy like that. I'm really just testing the distance. I've done multiple half marathons - 8 in total, and 7 within 77 days. I want to challenge myself to go further. I don't HAVE to finish. I won't push myself if I am in pain, unless I'm almost done of course! I know that a marathon is a completely different ballgame from a half. I know it takes a significantly different amount of physical and mental strength, and I just want to assess where I'm at. If I DO finish, that would be awesome. And perhaps I can. I will walk when I need to. I've been getting advice and tips from many runner friends. But ultimately I just want to test my limits. See how far I can get myself to go at this point. I feel like I can go longer during a race because of the motivation of the other runner and the finish line, so I'm going to take it easy, hope for the best and see what happens.

I feel like my biggest problem will be going slow enough not to burn out. I have a tendency to run strong in the beginning of any race. Every half I do I have this issue, but it seems to work. I can run strong for the first half of the race, and sometimes a little longer, and when I get tired I slow it down. During most races, I have enough energy left to make it through. But I KNOW this won't work for me for doubling the distance. Slow and steady wins the race. So I have to be very, very cautious of my pace. For a 6 hour marathon finish the pace is 13:44. Considering that I run about or under an 11 min/mile for the first 7-8 miles of a half, I know this will seem super slow for me. I just hope I can keep it steady and I don't burn myself out.

I've been making sure I have been drinking a lot of water since I registered, on the 16th. A whole 4 days before the actual marathon. Yesterday I had a pasta dinner. I will try to eat throughout the day today as well, make sure to get my carbs in. And unfortunately attempt to get a good enough amount of sleep. I work all day today - 10 hours - on my feet. I will be getting off at 8pm, have to eat, and go straight to bed. Doesn't seem like ideal conditions before a marathon I haven't trained for, or even one I have trained for. But we'll see how it goes.

I'm pleasantly surprised at the amount of support, encouragement, and advice the running community has given me. I was certain I would be told I was crazy and I shouldn't do it. But the motivation that I've been given has been overwhelming. I'm flattered that so many people have faith in me that I could finish, especially with my lack of training. Friends have given me such kind words. And I've been given words of encouragement and advice from people I haven't even met before. I'm gotten comments and e-mails. I'll say this again, I LOVE instagram for helping me achieve my running goals. And the people on there are so supportive and amazing. 

If you guys are reading this: A special thank you to 
Adele: you're overabundance of encouraging words make me feel like i can really do this. I was surprised at how much support you gave me when you heard of my crazy idea!!
Jim: thanks for telling me I can finish, even though I know you think I'm crazy! And for supporting all of my race/running goals.
Anna: Thank you for telling me I got this, and also not judging. Thanks for becoming an awesome running buddy recently. You rock! 
David G: Thanks for continuously supporting me even though I haven't run with you guys yet! I know both of us know I haven't trained for this, but you didn't say anything but encouraging words. Thank you. I'll be sure to look for u and say hi!
John: Thanks for the quote. It helped!
Nick: Thanks for the chat and ALL the advice you gave me. I'm definitely using some. Maybe one day I'll get faster too!
Cynthia: The quote picture you posted made my day, and actually made me a little teary eyed I'm not going to lie. It amazes me that people can be so encouraging and supportive. Thank you!
Tod K: Thanks for sending me an e-mail, taking the time out to do that really meant a lot to me, and I'll definitely use your words of wisdom.

If I have forgotten you, I'm sorry. But all of your words and encouragement are going to help me through tomorrow. If I make it to the end, it will be because I'm playing your words back in my head when I think I can't go on any longer. So thank you. 

I wonder what I will be thinking a few months from now when I look back at this post. Right now I'm nervous. I really don't know what I've gotten myself into. But then again, in life you just need to jump into things and take risks. You never know what you can do unless you try. So either I'm going to look back at this and think, I was crazy, why on earth would I ever attempt something so dumb? or I will think, wow that was brave and amazing...and to put it quite simple...pretty freakin badass! (Of course I'm hoping for #2)