I’ve undertaken this marathon pursuit for a few reasons. The easiest to understand I suppose is that I wanted a running related goal to shoot for so that I would be motivated to continue my running and to have it directed towards a particular purpose. For me, guidance and direction are good things, most of the time. There are also a number of secondary, or non-running related reasons for this undertaking. If I’m going to devote 8 – 10 hours per week to something, I want to have some long lasting benefits that stick with me. If you think about it, a marathon training program is similar to a college course in terms of commitment required. I want to be be changed for the better when it’s over. Sure, rock hard calfs, bulging quads, and a dirty laudry pile that deserves the attention of the Environmental Protection Agency are all nice things to have, but I’m always looking for personal development. I hope to reap a number of self improving benefits from this program. From time to time I’ll go off on a tangent about them in this space. This is one of those times.
Acceptance is a trait that I could use a little help with. I’m not a very religious person, but I used to spend a great deal of time with a group of people who would recite the Serenity Prayer ad nauseum. It bugged me a little then, but I see For those that don’t know it:
God, grant me the serenety to accept the things I can not change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
I don’t have any trouble trying to change things, it’s accepting things that I can’t change, and knowing which things those are that give me fits sometimes.
So…what does all that have to do with marathon training ? My race is in 6 days. There’s absolutely nothing I can do to be more ready. Whatever strength, fitness and conditioning my training is going to provide, I’ve already got it. All I can do now, is not rest enough so I am able to give my best effort, or ( and this is the one that really scares me ) I could get injured and not even be able to run at all. I have to just sit back, and rest…do nothing….have the wisdom to know that I’m as ready as I’m going to be. I’m not as ready as I could be…but as ready as I’m going to be. I could have done more in my training program, and I plan to for my next race. There are two things I need to have now to have a great run. Acceptance of things right now, and then patience and restraint on race day. Those are also things I’m not good at. Marathoning really requires all the things that I need to work on. It’s the perfect self help project for me. I know it’s helped me as a person, I’ll find out next Sunday if it’s helped me as a marathoner
…..no matter what…
…just don’t stop running…