It is hard to explain what this whole experience of training for my first marathon has been like. I have been a nervous wreck the last 3 weeks because I feel like I am behind where I want to be right now. I have two epic long runs coming up and am finding it difficult to plan those miles without dying a slow death on a treadmill. That minor annoying issue, however, is not why I am writing today.
There has been a rather large shift in my thinking; about the race, myself, and where I want to be long after the race is over. It began months ago, on a night much like this one. I was wondering what life was going to be like a year into the future. Where was I going to be? Was I still going to struggle so much?
In reality I started out doing this because I was depressed about where my life was at the time, and suffered a lot of anxiety over how to get myself through it. What do I do first? How do I take care of things on a week to week basis? How do I feel NORMAL again? All great questions that often kept me up at night without any real solid answers. It is sometimes hard to explain to people how that feels because to just say you were sad about "everything" is often seen as dramatic and self-serving. I felt that way though. Externally I was fine - I went to work, walked my dog, and did every day like a champ. Internally I felt like I was living but never felt like I was ....alive.
One day I decided I needed to figure out how to live. Instead of just going through one day at a time I needed to plan something. To have a huge thing to work towards and focus on. I got an email that changed everything and next thing you know it was "Hello marathon!"
It has been the best decision of my life, even now, well before ever setting foot at that start line. I have been given fantastic opportunities as an official blogger and fundraising has been tough but rewarding. People have a difficult time these days donating to anything - many have become so cynical and jaded it seems. However, to those that have pitched in you are lights in a world of darkness, and I thank for being that for me especially.
The opportunities didn't just end with the race. I was fortunate enough to land the job I truly believe I was put on this earth to do. A self-proclaimed planner gets to plan things for students? Winning! Turns out one of the things my ex-husband hated about me is actually now my greatest asset. There are tough days just like everything else but at the end of the day I feel good about it and I don't sit at home wondering what will happen next. I also spend every moment doing my job, or spend time learning about ways to become better at it. It all has been surreal.
Do I still worry about things? Sure do. Like how to manage boarding my dog, paying my bills and trying to decide if I can afford to fly or just drive the 10 hours to Pittsburgh. (Breathe, Karen). I still am taking time to figure that stuff out and even though I worry about it, I am confident I will make it work.
I look forward to lacing up that Sunday morning, and heading to the start line ready for whatever happens on that lovely 26.2 mile course through Pittsburgh. I can assure you of this though, that heart and determination that is getting me to the start line (and eventually to the finish) is going to last well beyond May 6th.