I’ve decided not to wait until January 1st to make my New Year’s Resolution for 2013. I want to finish the Marathon du Mont Saint Michel in May. There I’ve said it out loud and I’m even more nervous now. I’m terrified actually. I don’t want “DNF” (did not finish) next to my name and since I’ve made my goal public, I can’t pretend I didn’t make it or forget to tell you how the story will end. All the books and articles I’ve read suggest telling all your friends and family about your new goal so that can encourage you. I’ve decided “encouragement” sounds better than “go ahead and burn your bridges–now you have to do it.” I think the same logic is at work in the comments that tell you to sign up immediately. I haven’t signed up yet. Basically according to what I’ve read anything that will make your marathon commitment feel concrete from Day 1 is worth doing. I need to wait for next month for the entry fee to fit in the budget but I’ve got my medical certificate ready, printed out my training plan (all 23 wonderful weeks of it starting next month) and Santa has already brought me my new GPS-enabled watch. (I don’t want to think about Santa’s reaction if I don’t get my money’s worth out of that investment!) To be honest, injury is my greatest concern. I remember how I was hobbling in the run up to the Cancale-Saint Malo Half-Marathon in June and I do not want a repeat performance (the shin pain went away after the first 5-7 minutes but getting through them was no fun). I’ve added a new series of stretching and strength exercises to my training program to try and prevent anything from going wrong physically. I’ve also started reminding myself how I’ve improved since I started running again after having Elise and being bedridden for 4.5 months. When I started running I was winded after 300 meters and finishing a 5K was my goal. I managed the 5K that spring and finished the season with a 14K. This year, I managed the half and I’ve been getting stronger ever since. I’ve also learned to accept being passed by the geriatric set (no offense intended) and not compare myself to the amazing survivors and mothers of five plus children who run marathons in their sleep. I’m not the fastest person out there and I never will be. If, no “when,” I can take my slow and steady self all the way from Cancale to the Mont Saint Michel, I will be thrilled. I’ll have finished the race but more importantly, I’ll have stuck out the training schedule, the days when I don’t feel like running and enjoyed myself most of the way there! Oh, and gotten to eat everything and anything I want!**
PS Bree, if you’re reading this, you are more than welcome to be crazy along with me!
**I don’t know how people manage to lose weight by running. Last year, by the time I was doing the long runs for the half, I was hungry all the time and eating an extra meal a day!