Thinking out Loud · training

T-minus 5 Days, 7 Hours and Counting

Nerves. That’s what I thought I would be feeling. Along with some fear, anxiety, excitement and anticipation. I’m not. I don’t feel anything really. Ambivalent isn’t right. Apathy, maybe that’s closer to reality. I haven’t been able to pinpoint why either. I thought I’d be feeling something this close to the end. I have to confess I have been trying very hard to keep all race related emotions in check simply because with me they can run amok and waste a lot of energy.

What I do know is the Voice of Doubt has been whispering non-stop for a few weeks. Doubt has been telling me all the things that can ruin, well, anything. “You haven’t done enough.” “What were you thinking? This is so much more than you’re capable of.” “You prob’ly won’t finish. You know that, right?” “This was a midlife crisis after all. And now your epic failure will be out there for all the world to see.” The Voice of Doubt knows how to push all the right buttons, doesn’t it. So here I am, just five days away from attempting the hardest single event of my life and part of me doesn’t care. What’s up with that?

Delusionally Optimistic, that’s how I’m feeling about finishing.

I was hoping for a perfect segue into this next thought but I’m tired. I’ve been tired for a month now and clever witty banter just ain’t happening. (If it weren’t for spell check this post might not be happening either, HA! SN: it found three mistakes in that last sentence as I was fixing the original mistake. So, yeah.) Bad segue done, here we go: This afternoon the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon had its first meet-up for the 2019-2020 training season and had a private showing of Brittany Runs a Marathon, a semi-autobiographical dramedy about Brittany, who runs a marathon. Spoiler: she does finish the race. Other spoiler: there are emotional triggers, bring tissues. I highly recommend seeing it with a gaggle of your female running friends. In as few words as possible this is the plot. Brittany is not even 30 and her life is a mess, and has been for a while. After hearing backhanded compliments for what they really are Brittany takes a good look at herself, literally and figuratively. She does not like what she sees. Our leading lady decides to try running — just to the end of the block. It does not kill her and she keeps running. Brittany meets new people, makes friends, and old friends just don’t seem to get it, this running thing. (If you run you know who “those people” are, you just do. I can’t explain it further.) Brittany and her new running friends have successes and setbacks, triumph and a little tragedy. I saw myself in this girl, the insecure, shrinking violet dreaming of a ray of sunshine to help her bloom. The light finds her.

The last scenes of the film stirred memories of my first endurance race, an Olympic/International distance triathlon, my first marathon, first half marathon and first half Ironman. It brought back memories of crossing the finish line, the wave of emotion that comes with finishing extraordinary things, the relief, the joy, the end.

I am 5 days, 6 hours, 28 minutes and counting from toeing the line waiting for the starter pistol fire. Right now, this moment, I want nothing more than to actually finish this race. I want to prove that a (planned) midlife crisis doesn’t have to end in disaster.

I just realized something! I am not feeling anything because Doubt has convinced me I won’t get to feel Victory at the finish line. Ready or not, here I come.

Me and Bluebird, the bike I’ll be riding on race day.

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