With apologies to the Platters, I've borrowed the opening line to one of my all-time favorite songs ("Twilight Time") to describe just where I am with 13 days to go before the ING Hartford Marathon. I've completed almost all of the training on my training schedule, and now it's that wonderful time when the big miles are finished and you start looking at long-range weather forecasts and obsessing over phantom aches and pains, not to mention starting to hear those doubting voices in your head........did you train enough? Are you fit enough? Are you strong enough? Are you rested enough? Are you kidding yourself?......you've never run 2 marathons in a year before.
I feel good......and heading into Hartford, I feel confident in my ability to have a good day. I've learned a lot about myself in my two previous marathons and I'm going to put that knowledge to use on Saturday, October 13th. I truly believe I'm capable of a new marathon PR and will, for the first time, seek out a pace group to help with that. The only truly "new" element of this marathon is that it will be the first time I'll run one out of town. Now, mind you, Hartford is about 2+ hours away, but that's far enough to necessitate a hotel stay. Ok, maybe it's not necessary, but Barb and I will be taking the opportunity for a little overnight getaway. We'll head down Friday morning, take in the expo, have a nice dinner, then an early bedtime to get ready for the morning!
I finished off a very difficult September with a nice 8-mile run through the chilly rain that was falling this morning. I've really struggled with maintaining a regular training regimen this month, as I've been adjusting to my new school schedule, so I'm pleased I was able to notch another 100-mile month. I'm also REALLY pleased to have pushed through 900 miles for the year, the earliest ever (by nearly 2 months) in my running "career". It's definitely the result of both consistent training and consistent health/lack of injury, so I can't take it for granted. All in all, it's been a great year so far, and now I'm just looking to finish the year off strong.
As I was slogging on through the rain this morning, I found a smile creeping across my face. Trying to figure out why, I thought of the famous quote "There's no such thing as bad weather, there are only soft people"......not that running in the rain makes me tough, it's just that I can't believe sometimes how far I've come in my journey to becoming a runner. It wasn't that long ago that looking outside and seeing the rain would keep me inside.....or if the rain started to fall when I was outside, I'd go back in. Now, I just let it rain down on me and I keep on running. After all, you can't control the weather when you race, so why should it be any different on a training run? So I guess I'm not as soft as I used to be, and that's part of my personality that running has allowed to come out. I've learned so much about myself through my running, and I learn a little bit more every time I head out the door.
On Saturday, October 13th....in Hartford, CT, I'm going to learn a bit more......about what I'm capable of.....about how much I can endure....about how much I can overcome.....and about how great I can be when I decide to be great.
Can't wait, friends.........can't wait!