Thursday, March 27, 2014

Basket Of Nerves: Do You Ever Feel Ready?

Ready to line up under the Sunsphere!
It feels like forever since I last posted. Nearly 2 months seems like an eternity.

A lot has gone on with work and life, preventing me from posting here. But as I make final preparations for the Knoxville Marathon, I have the overwhelming need to write because I have so much swimming in my head lately.

To say it's been a wild and wacky training season would be an understatement. So much has happened to try to disrupt things, not the least of these being the wonderful winter weather we experienced. Granted, winter here in Kentucky was not nearly as bad as other parts of the country. Still, it wasn't the norm and made things interesting trying to get my runs in.

But work has been crazy with three week-long road trips interspersed over the past couple of months, making trying to figure out when I can and can't get a run in very interesting.
Overall, all I feel ready for Knoxville. I've put the miles in. I've done what my training plan has asked of me. So, I know I will cross that finish line.

When I cross the finish line on Sunday, I will have ran 640 miles during this 16-week training cycle. That's a 32-mile increase over what I did in preparing for the 2013 Knoxville Marathon.

I am feeling ready as I ever will be and as ever as I have been. 

That said, why are all these doubts swirling in my head?!?!

After 16 weeks of sweat, blood and tears (yes I experienced all three), I should feel confident. I should feel ready. I should feel totally prepped to conquer those hills.

And yet, I don't.

Looking forward to this worn-out feeling
after crossing the finish line on Sunday.
So, that begs me to ask the question: does one ever feel ready for a marathon?

This is my fourth full marathon and my third Knoxville Marathon. I know this course. I know what to expect. It ought to calm my anxiety having this knowledge.

Why does self doubt flood my mind even though my training suggests not only am I more than ready to complete this race but also am going to crush my PR? Why do I feel like I'm setting myself up for an epic fail? Why do I feel like this run is so daunting despite the fact I've accomplished this three times before?

It's enough to drive one batty.

This proves to me that the marathon is just as much mental as it is physical. It wears on your mind as much as (and sometime more than) your body. It truly tests the human spirit.

And it's a test I'm going to ace this Sunday.

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