Sunday, February 21, 2016

Two weeks to the Napa Valley Marathon

The first mile of the Napa Valley Marathon
(Napa Valley Marathon photo)
I haven't written anything on running the Napa Valley Marathon since the personal, soul searching post I wrote last October.  Well, the big date is two weeks away. I'll do my best to spare you the gory details on all the training I've done. Going into this, the whole idea of running 26.2 miles was scary. With over 700 miles in the last four months, including six runs of 20 miles or more under my belt, let's just say this whole marathon thing doesn't scare me anymore.

The last four months of training produced elation, disappointment, and pure tedium. Going out the door at 6:00 am into a dark, drizzly morning to run 10 miles is not the way I prefer to start my day, but that's what I signed up for when I decided to do this thing. Some days, I surprised myself with how strongly I ran, making me feel nearly invincible.  Then there were those days where I struggled through the miles and after several furtive glances at my stop watch, I realized it was time to just turn the damn thing off, forget about time and just trudge my way back home. It's days like these that made me feel fragile.

They say it's not the destination, but the journey. Of course, what happens on race day is a big part of how the journey really turned out. Without boring you with time goals, I've had to dial back some rather ambitious expectations I had for this race that clearly aren't in the cards given my performance on some key runs.  But that's OK.  Three years, I couldn't even conceive of running a marathon.  A hip imbalance and some other bio-mechanical issues made any run over 12 miles a pretty dicey proposition. After four months of training, I can say that finishing a marathon at a pace that would challenge a lot of people of is definitely in my grasp. I just need make sure I'm prepared properly, run smartly with the necessary effort on race day. I'm not worried about have the desire necessary to run a good marathon. It's been with me the last four months, and it will be there again the morning of March 6th.

In many ways, that is a victory in and of itself.

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