Writing, Running, Being.

The finish line is a shifty Thing and what is life, but reckoning?
Ani DiFranco

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.


Anne said...

You will do great...take lots of walk breaks and try to enjoy the experience! I'm sure you're more ready than you give yourself credit for...your body is strong and ready to do this!

tara said...

You are going to do awesome and BTW pretty much all novice ultra runners don't run anywhere over 30 miles before the race if you did you would toast your legs before the race and mess up your training. You got this now get your little butt out there and kick some running mom ASS!

AM-GoalsfortheWeek! said...

Holy Moly! Ultra marathon. You can do it girl. write a post a nite or two before for support (i did for lavaman and it was great).
and yeah, you'll be saying all of the words in your first sentence during the race- and that's what it's all about eh?;-) can't wait to hear about it

H. Brown said...

marny, i love the blog! i'm sure you've never heard this before: are snakes in the brain sort of like snakes on a plane? sorry, that was cheesy. anyway, i'll be following your progress and cheering you on! i have no running advice, but tons of faith in you, and your story is compelling :) keep up the great work!

Paula (Adventure Junkie Mom) said...

Stupid, NO, fat, NOT EVEN CLOSE and slow-ass, NEVER!! Marny, if you lived next door I would be over at your house to slap you, Mama! You are going to do great at your Ultra. You are ready, you have trained hard, and you are going to ROCK.
*I know how you are feeling, tho, I am the same way with Grizzlyman in 2 weeks (totally effing freaking out)*
You are going to have the time of your life, and I CANNOT wait to hear how well it all went for you in the end. And it will! Have faith, girl.

Bethany said...

Woman, you can do this. Don't even give me that fat stupid slow ass stuff. You are Super Gnome. Super Gnome has no such negative energy. You're an example to gnomes everywhere. You're an inspiration to this Amazon woman, who is insanely jealous you are off running your first ultra while I am growing a fetus. lol. :)

You are going to be so awesome!!! I can't wait to hear about how it goes!! Don't be afraid! Super Gnome knows no fear!!

Nursing Stroller-Pushing Marathoner said...

I love your writing Marny, you are going to rock this! Just think of all that time you will get to spend away from the lovely two-year-old! ;-)

jill said...

someone who just misses a BQ by like 8 minutes is ANYTHING but slow!

i totally understand the reason for freaking out - and it's normal - but try to change all that negative talk in your head...instead, imagine all the things you'd say to tara or bethany or cathy or whomever was doing this run...you certainly wouldn't tell them they were fat & slow!

you're going to do awesome! go go little sprite!

Tracey Kite said...

Marny, you are ready for this and you are going to kick booty! Once you are out there you are going to have a great time and will be so glad that you did it!