Wow, I absolutely cannot believe 21 weeks has passed since I started running and training for marathon #18. A few passing thoughts before I catch a flight to California in an hour (like if I were packed an hour before I leave would be nice - ha!).
It's been once crazy, busy week at the runwithjill household, so I haven't had time to find the normal pre-race jitters I usually get before a marathon. The boys were off school Monday and Tuesday so we crammed in as much fun stuff as we could. I've been tweaking my resume so I can be a coach for the Girls on the Run program, and I had my first meeting for that last night. Today I rode my bike for a few hours in our gorgeous 63 degree sunshiny weather. To top off the frenzy of activity, my laptop decided to cop an attitude and stop working so it's been at the computer hospital since last week; let me tell you sharing a communal desktop computer with two teenage boys does not allow me much blog reading time. (I do apologize, I so miss the connections!)
Most likely, though, the lack of pre-race nerves is the fact that I'm just not prepared to run 26.2 miles in Carlsbad and therefore have absolutely no time expectations. It's just the way it is this time around, hopefully one day there'll be other races, hopefully more marathons, where I will be stronger and compete. Carlsbad will not be one of those races.
I feel at peace, in a way.
I'm happy not to be biting off everyone's head who walks the wrong way in my path. I had no qualms to ride my bike for hours 2 days before my marathon - if I were expecting to toe the line on Sunday, this bike ride would be unheard of for me. I ran a few miles at the state park by my house (I often wonder how many miles I've run there....it has to be several thousand!) on Tuesday, right after we had a fresh snowfall. There was absolutely not another soul in sight for my few miles run.
It was so peaceful. A couple miles into the run, I saw this guy perched up in a tree above me...
I'm actually shocked I saw him, usually I'm plodding along listening to my music and holding on for dear life at a pace with his probably a bit too ambitious for my abilities at this time. But this run was different, this run had me looking around, being very external with my elements and enjoying every step I was taking. I stood directly underneath the tree where the eagle sat and I just watched him for a few minutes, he couldn't have been more than 15' from me.
He sat there proud and tall (probably wondering how the heck he could eat me whole for lunch!) and I was just in awe. I continued on my run, feeling slightly lighter in my step and had one of the best runs I had in probably several months.
My goals in Carlsbad are simple: I want to enjoy the experience. I want to be thankful and grateful I get to run a marathon just a few short months after the heel from hell fiasco. I want to remember my eagle friend and feel light on my feet...and in my heart. I want to take in the gorgeous ocean views and think of all the wonderful things I have in my life. I will not worry about a finish line time, heck I'm not even going to wear a watch. I get to spend a couple days with some of my best girlfriends out there (Meg, Tara, Marcia, Irene. Marcia's plane is currently stuck in the snowy Midwest, I hope she makes it), I can't wait to share many laughs as we suffer through the miles together, I'm sure we'll have some great stories to share after.
Yes, it will be hard and yes it will hurt - a lot. But this will be a different hurt than if I were racing, not that racing doesn't hurt, it just hurts differently is all.
And sometimes, that's good enough.
Time to roll....Carlsbad, here I come.
Run Strong and with joy, my friends!
“But those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”