Welcome to Part VII of Lauren’s marathon series. The countdown until race time has begun. Start with Part I for a full account of what it’s actually like to train for a marathon. Or, continue on to Part VIII.
I have about 30 days left until I step into line with 26,000 other people and wait for my turn to run, and I have a difficult decision to make. My starting corral is much higher than my fellow marathon trainees. Only one other person submitted official times. Everyone else is in the last corral with the self-described walkers.
We have all been through so much together that it feels silly not to run with the group. At the same time, race rules dictate that no more than two people run abreast to allow for others to pass. Our pace times won’t be the same, even halfway through the course. Also, even though Jenny promises that we’ll run together, she always takes off at the start of every single race. Either at the beginning, middle, or end, she sprints away.
I really want to start the race with this group, but pushing past people for the first few miles doesn’t sound exciting to me. Nevertheless, we have to line up quite a bit in advance and I know how my nerves will be. My teeth will chatter and my knees will wobble, so the sooner I can get this race over with, the better. If I start in a higher corral, I will probably begin the race about 45 minutes before the rest of the crew. I’m still on the fence about what to do.
Run, Shop, Wrap Gifts, Run, Eat, Run, Etc. The last 20-mile run is this weekend. We had all agreed to run on Sunday, but everyone else’s plans changed last minute except mine. Even though I was annoyed, I tried not to let it bother me.
Training-wise, it’s been difficult to stay on task, what with all the holiday parties filled with food and wine and more food and more wine. Also, running hasn’t been that fun for some time now and staying motivated has been extremely challenging.
But yet, I somehow manage to stay driven. Today I wanted to finish up holiday shopping so I could relax with a glass of wine and wrap my gifts. Instead, I went for a run. This delay is going to make for a much less relaxing trip to the mall, where I’ll have to wrestle my way around a variety of aggravations. People staring at their cell phones when they walk, people not understanding that other walkers in the mall might, perhaps, be traveling faster than them. People being people.
Irritations Aside, I’m Still Thankful I’m personally annoyed with my own annoyance at others. So instead of dwelling on it, I’ve put together a gratitude list to keep me focused on the moment — the stuff we should be thinking about during the holiday season — not all the consumerism nonsense that distracts us from enjoying life and all the fun that can be had. Here it goes:
It’s amazing how focusing on the positive can completely change my personal view. I’m now looking forward to going to the mall and grabbing the last gift on my list, and then heading home to wrap up everything, with a cuddly dog by my side.
I finished my run today, I did a great job at work, and I’ll fall asleep knowing I can start tomorrow fresh and have another good day.
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