Saturday, April 3, 2010
WTF was I thinking?
My first ultra-marathon is two weeks away and I have officially entered the freak-out zone. Fuck, Shit, Crap, Damn, Sonofabitch, Motherfff... WHAT THE FUCK WAS I THINKING?! Can we please just get this over with? Like, now. Just put a bag over my head, place me at the starting line and let me proceed with humiliating myself. Ugh, at least I have mastered the "respect the distance" aspect of ultra-running. Yup, got that part down.
My friend who is a new (but good) runner asked me how I trained for 50 miles and wanted to know how long my longest run was. I sort of winced when I said, "30 miles." She wondered how those extra 20 just "sneak in there." Uh, yeah good point. How do they do that? When I signed up for this thing , I didn't really think it would be me that ran the ultra. It would be some super fit, trained beast that I meant to transform myself into prior to the race. Turns out, I'm still me. Stupid, fat, slow-ass ME.
There just isn't enough time to do anything about that. The race is paid for, room is booked, time off work accepted, and the show must go on. Where did my excitement go? Race day wouldn't come fast enough a couple months ago. I have since come down with a case of the "I Don't Wannas." That's Fear. It ruins everything. When you give it an inch, it takes a mile. It gets its foot in the door, then storms your brain and destroys every positive thought that tries to stand up for itself. It leaves Doubt in its wake who scrambles around, searching the debris for a "Yes" but eventually succumbs to the "NOs." I started a list of excuses. So far I don't have a legitimate reason to back out except "why" which is what everyone said in the first place and at the time, I rolled my eyes because "why" is too easily answered with "why not" But answering questions with other questions only buys time.
Eventually you run out of time and you find yourself with your head in a bag at the starting line. If you take the bag off your head, you will increase your chances of completing the god-forsaken course. You will probably see the people around you smiling. You will realize they are smiling because they get to run today. And you will probably smile about that too.