With just under two weeks to go until the Boston Marathon, I wrapped up my heavy training with one last long run in Sedona, AZ with some altitude (whew!). I kept repeating to myself, “It only hurts up to a certain point, and then it doesn’t get any worse.” A good reminder for race day!
This little weekend getaway was good practice for traveling when running and racing. It isn’t easy, so I try to pack all I can to maintain my routine. I try not to get too terribly obsessed with every little detail. Training is doing your homework. It’s tedious, not very fun sometimes, and takes priority over other things we enjoy in life.
You stick with it and, over time, your body adjusts and you get to where you aren’t normal without it. Your mind gets used to the effort, it’s habit. I’m not saying it’s easy or that every run, every minute and mile are a joy. Believe me, some days really stink! For the most part, though, I know the feeling at the end is so worth the effort.
I am now entering the two week tapering period, which consists of reducing my workouts (time, intensity, mileage). Of course, it’s important not to reduce my workouts by too much (the aim is to maintain my fitness level), but getting the body and legs fresh again for the start line. Physically, tapering is easier. Emotionally, it’s tough. I would be a bit crazy if I didn’t run. It centers me, focuses me, clears my mind, and gives me energy.
I respect the process, though. I know that resting and balance is just as important as effort. Not everything that is good for you feels good: eating kale instead of cupcakes, going to bed on time versus staying up to watch a movie, or paying bills before shopping for new clothes, none of these are particularly fun compared to the alternative, but they’re important for maintaining good health.
For the next 2 weeks, I’m focusing on gratitude: appreciating how far I’ve come, being thankful for what my body can do, and honoring what it can’t. I’m going to thank those who support and love me as well as make time for life’s little moments of joy whether it’s a cup of coffee overlooking beautiful mountains, having breakfast with a friend, or talking to a loved one on the phone. And, of course, thank you for being a part of my journey!