Thursday, May 5, 2011

this is the part where I get scared

I should be packing right now. I'm leaving in the morning, after all.

Big Race weekend is here.

I should really be packing.

But instead I'm sitting here scared.

I know I will make it through the mileage. But I'm scared about how I'll make it though.

I want, so so much, to be someone who runs purely for the joy of it. Because that is what running is to me. Joy. Pure and simple. There are very few people who really, truly get just how deep it is for me. (I mean you, BFF) I run because it brings me joy. Real, true joy.

But I'm also competitive, and a perfectionist. And when I run, I want to run. Fast. Faster than you (whoever you might be). But fast isn't part of my reality right now, and most likely won't be, ever again. And so I'm also scared of what others will say or think about the girl who used to be fast, and now.... isn't.

And I'm scared that regardless of just how hard I've worked and trained and prepared, my knees will act up and that will be that. And I'll wish I had a sandwich board, like boys who sold newspapers in the 20s and 30s, that says "I swear I used to be fast, but now my knees suck and I can't run like I used to even though I want to and you can call my doctor and he'll tell you that's the real truth!"

And every time I think I'm over that fear, that stupid, pointless, self-conscious fear, it just sneaks up and settles right down next to me, and doesn't seem like it plans to leave any time soon.

So, yeah. I'm sitting here sacred.

But I'm also remembering the moment in the movie Without Limits where Bill Bowerman is talking about the Olympic motto, Swifter, Higher, Stronger - "It doesn't say swifter, higher, stronger than the other guy. Just swifter, higher, stronger."

And reminding myself that it really, truly is about the joy.


Before I ran Boston, my godmother gave me a necklace (even though I really don't wear jewelry). She told me she wanted me to have something special to mark such an occasion, and when she saw this necklace, she knew it was the perfect thing.

I haven't worn it since Boston. But I think I'll take it out for the weekend ahead.

Stride on.


InTheFastLane said...

I get this. I get this and I own this. And we should have a club. Soon, maybe I'll be able to run long enough for me to run with you, for fun. Now go and enjoy yourself!

Kirsten said...

Oh, have a great race. Feel the joy of the race and be kind to your knees. I will be thinking "happy knee" thoughts for you. I think that necklace is perfect.

What got me through a half last year were shirts for one of the running clubs that read "Enjoy the Miles". I try to do that every time I'm outside. Because ultimately I enjoy running and I shouldn't end a run hating myself.

You're going to do it. You're going to do it with this new body of yours that doesn't go as fast as it used to. But you're going to do it.


Lyndsay said...

Aw hun. Listen to your Grandma and be fearless. Your running isn't about what they say or think and they'll probably be too busy worrying about chapped nipples (or whatever it is you runners worry about) anyway.
Get out there and be fearless and breathe deeply and enjoy the moment. They don't last forever.
(And if you need me to fly there and show you what "slow" REALLY is, I'd be more than happy.)
I'll be thinking about you, sending happy knee vibes, and silenting cheering your remarkable comeback. Because it is. Because you are.

quicklikeabunny said...

I've never been a fast runner so for me the joy and pride come in the accomplishment. Because no matter your time, finishing a half marathon (are you doing Indy?) is a serious accomplishment! Breathe deep, soak in the experience and own your new running self!

"You grade A in the marathon as long as you finish. How fast you run is not as important as many would think. Set goals intelligently." ~Hal Higdon