One of my qualities is that I tend to be impulsive, and once I get an idea in my head, I have to follow through on it. Just ask Brian – I’m pretty sure this drives him nuts. I am also really, really competitive. When you pair these two things together, you get…A MARINE CORPS MARATHON REGISTRATION.
Now, this was only sort of impulsive. It wasn’t like I looked at the calendar and said, “Oh, look! Active duty registration opened today, this seems like a good idea!” I had been thinking about challenging myself with a full marathon for a while, but I didn’t think that challenge would happen any time soon. The impulsiveness aspect was basically, “Hey, why wait? Let’s just do it this year!” As I clicked “submit,” I started feeling nauseous because omg, I just signed up for a marathon. That’s a lot of miles. It will definitely give me something to work towards this summer, though! However, I’m not sure I will ever be a chronic marathon runner because honestly, it sounds like torture, but it’s something that I know I want to check off my running bucket list eventually. Maybe I’ll surprise myself and become addicted to it, but I’m not convinced of that.
This same impulsiveness is actually what made me sign up for my first half marathon which is, yikes, 10 days away. At first I thought that signing up for a 10-miler in April was an ambitious goal, and that I couldn’t possibly be ready for a half marathon by March. Then I heard that my cousin was coming down to run the full and I upped my racing ante because hey, if he is coming and doing the full, I can definitely do the half, right?
I am getting really nervous, though, and am at the point where I am second-guessing myself. I think that’s mostly because I have set a goal for myself and I think a part of me will be sort of disappointed if I don’t meet it. At one point I thought it was a semi-reasonable goal, but after this weekend’s tough, hilly 10-mile run, I am wondering if I’m being a little too ambitious for my first half. Really, shouldn’t my goal be to give 100% and to finish? Maybe since this is my first half marathon, I should just soak it up and see what comes. Instead I have it in my head that I want to finish in 2 hours (give or take), which is 9 min/mile. I can do this pace (I have done way quicker), and I can do it relatively easily in race situations BUT this is also not a 3-5 miler, this is 13 miles, so maybe I need to be a little more flexible on my pacing goal (especially if it is hilly! I don’t know what the course is because I would rather find out in the moment). Also, after my 8 mile, 7 mile, and 10 mile runs this past week, my right knee has been a bit tender, so I’m a little anxious about that, too.
I am trying to blend being realistic with being ambitious, and it’s tough! I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself and not enjoy the experience, but at the same time, part of why I love running is finishing that run at a goal time. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself and then start to hate running, but if I don’t have any goal at all, I won’t enjoy it either. Am I just overanalyzing this?!
Anyway…the countdown begins!