There have been more than two dozen 19-mile runs over the years, and yet I was a bundle of nerves Saturday night. My husband says, “You know you can do this. What are you worried about?”
I don’t know. I’m afraid I will get halfway down the road and something will go wrong or, worst of all worries — I’ll discover I just can not finish.
The clock finally reached 5:40am. We all groaned.
Since I was leaving the Jeep at the top of the mountain, the peanut butter and jelly sandwich had to come with me. Surprisingly, it fit perfectly in the pocket of my little water bottle.
Some time back, someone sat around a conference table and decided to eliminate the inside pocket of my running shorts, so three energizing jelly beans had to squeeze in with the PB&J. Everything fit and finally I’m off.
It was just 8 minutes into the run that I could see a big black something through the fog in the middle of the road. My mind goes bear!
It was not a bear…just a big, black dog that was not happy to see me. It took 5 minutes to negotiate my way past this big, black dog.
Last week I washed out my little water bottle by hand, believing it was the dishwasher that was making it leak around the cap. It was in the first sip of water that I realized the soap in the dispenser by the kitchen sink tastes just like it smells.
Three more dogs and 9 miles later, it was time for the sandwich. I washed it down with the soapy water and decided I’d survive this bad water until I reached the water fountains at the tennis courts just two miles away.
None of the water fountains worked at the tennis courts.
The maintenance guy suggested I fill up at the sink in the bathroom. My worried mind spent the next 7 miles thinking about the TV show Naked and Afraid and the ill effect the guys endured when they drank water from a source they didn’t know.
I reluctantly sipped on the water now in my little water bottle, although glad it at least did not taste like green apple cucumber.
Just 3-1/2 miles further and 3-1/2 miles back. Then I could walk to the restaurant where my husband would have a thermos full of clear, clean water and a complete change of clothes. I could already taste lunch.
The problem was the road ended at 3 miles – I would have to run one more mile somewhere. One more mile past where I thought I would finish. Uggggggh.
For me, there is nothing worse than to think I am done…..and then have to run one mile further.
These are the moments you begin to justify to yourself why it is ok to quit:
1. I can run 19 miles, I don’t have to run 19 miles today.
2. What difference is there between 18.25 and 19 miles anyway?
3. Why did I think I wanted to run a marathon?
If you keep asking the questions long enough, eventually you reach the finish line and you realize…. I did it!
“We should never, ever give up … “– Diana Nyad