"Weakness, doubt, and fear are parts of the human condition. Facing them instead of fabricating an elaborate ruse to sidestep them--hoping to avoid them but ultimately carrying them in our hearts and minds and psyche until they whittle away at our being--gives us a direct route to hope and dreams. Along the way, we reap all those other by-products that make the suffering a tonic for our souls."
This past May I took a trip to L.A. (Larned, America, population <5000 in the heart of Kansas) to celebrate my niece's high school graduation. Due to all sorts of scheduling challenges and high air fares, the husband and kids stayed home. I left on a Friday morning and got home the following Monday evening. Yes, I love my family and I did miss them, but it was a glorious little break. Knowing I would have two two hour flights, I began the search for reading material. I was looking for something related to running. Fiction, non-fiction... I didn't really care. I just wanted to lose myself in some good running literature.
Via the Kindle browsing option, I stumbled into this. After reading the free sample, I was hooked. This was when I was getting to the bitter end of the training cycle for Grandma's Marathon, and it provided a great boost to get me to race day. I ended up with 10 highlighted sections (I never knew I was such a highlighter until I got a Kindle... LOVE that option!). Included in those 10 was the excerpt at the top of this post.
I post it today because I think I'm in a face my fears zone right now. I'm two months out from Twin Cities Marathon, which I hemmed and hawed about for multiple weeks, trying to decide if I wanted to sign up for it. Why the hemming and hawing? Fear. Why fear? There are many reasons I suppose. One of which is that 26.2 miles on foot is a damn long distance. Another of which is the fear of setting a goal. Is it time to go for that sub-four marathon? I wouldn't have thought so, but after my 4:02 finish at Grandma's, I suppose I need to think about it. The Twin Cities course is a completely different beast than Grandma's though. Narrower streets make for a more crowded route, the topography of the course is certainly hillier than Grandma's nearly all downhill route, and the odds of having a day as perfect for running as I had on June 18th seem pretty slim. Everything I'm saying here boils down to one ugly little ol' word: Fear.
It's not a big deal. Truth be told, I've feared a lot of things in my life, but it's never actually stopped me from doing what needed to be done. This time will be no exception. I will get to the finish line. I just need to do a little gut check and get it done.
Since this post has an overall whiny tone to it, I'm going to throw in some griping about the weather. I love, love, love summer. I really do. However, I think 11 years in Minnesota has softened me. The heat and especially the humidity have been taking it out of me lately. After every run (long, short, fast, slow... it makes no difference) I am pretty much drenched from head to toe with sweat. I have not seemed to be able to find a super effective means of replacing the lost fluids. As a result, I frequently end up spending the afternoons of days I run feeling super run down, and often with a splitting headache. This does not help with my marathon anxiety.
Anyhoo... everything really is fine here. I'm just enjoying the trial of miles and miles of trials.