I’m running the Chicago Marathon in 6 weeks. I don’t know why I am super calm about this, and then, whatever the opposite of calm is- that’s how I feel about the New York Marathon, which i’m running in November.
I wasn’t ready when I ran Paris. I was fit, and I had put in the training. I was primed for a decent race. I had hit two twenty mile runs triumphantly. I had read every possible race recap I could about Schneider Electric Marathon De Paris…I knew every turn of the course. I knew it would start down Champs Elysees with a slight decline, I knew that the Parks were endless and boring. I knew that I would eat oatmeal in the morning and four gels mid race. People were proud of me. I was ready to have a spiritual awakening.
But none came. I ran the race, I completed it. I was a disappointed in myself.
You can’t read Runner’s World, Competitor, Runner’s Connect, and every possible training blog without being hit with “do not set a time goal for your first marathon”. I took that with the same grain of salt that I put in my unfamiliar mushroom/cream/brown sauce dinner that I had the night before the marathon in Paris. I remember doing mental math trying to place the calories. I remember supposing that mushrooms had to have some nutrients that runners need…hadn’t I read that anywhere? I had about three glasses of wine, and in the back of my mind wondered where to buy PowerAid in the 8th where our AirBnb was. I never found it.
I only completed the Paris marathon because I am too crazy to not finish something I start. Stopping was not an option, but spending each and every one of the twenty six miles hating myself was. I was in fact, at mile 19 yelling out loud at myself.
I crossed the finish, got my medal, called my mom. Cried. Waited for euphoria. Walked, slowly, back to my Air Bnb, apologizing to friends for having made them wait so long for me to finish.
So Chicago. I am doing the George Costanza opposite. I am not reading race reviews. I am not obsessing over what McCillan’s race predictor says will be my finish time. I am stronger, faster, and lighter than I was in April. I am genuinely excited for this race. I cannot wait.