Eight days until the Lakefront Marathon - my second marathon ever and my first in five years - and I am already getting wired. There are a lot of reasons for wishing this marathon were already here, not the least of which is that my whole life seems to be consumed with it. I want that over with!
What happens to a person when they are so consumed by a big race goal like this? Well, apparently for me, life turns upside down. Every ache and pain is overanalyzed. For example, I woke up this morning to a sharp pain in my little toe when I tried to crack it. I am not sure what that is about, because it wasn't there yesterday. It is not odd at 40-years-old to wake up to a random ache or pain, but if I didn't have this race hanging over my head I wouldn't be quite so concerned about it.
I have my menu planned out for the entire next week. I know exactly what every dinner is going to be and in which order they will occur. Okay, so this isn't necessarily a bad thing; I could probably use a little organization in my meal planning. But still.
My workouts are planned out. I know exactly when I will run and how long I will run. I even know roughly where I will run. I cannot run trails in the next week, because I tend to become incredibly clutzy as a race approaches. I don't know how many times I have gone for a trail run in the week before a race and tripped over a root. Sometimes multiple times. The weekend before Pikes Peak, I tripped over roots and rocks not once, not twice, but three times. Training for an eight-mile race once I tripped over rocks twice so badly I thought I had injured myself. So, no trails for me this week.
I am not going to my core class, which I normally love. I once pulled a shoulder muscle in that class making running the next couple of days excruciating. I don't want to chance it. Likewise, a parent-child yoga class I would like to try is out of the question, because it is not something I normally do. All new things have to wait until after next weekend.
I won't share food with my kids, nor will I eat any of their leftovers. Again, like the meal planning, this is probably not a bad thing; I don't need to finish anyone else's meals besides my own anyway. But, I don't want to catch any colds if I can help it. (Both kids have had sniffly noses.)
Likewise, I am not taking the kids to any out-of-the-ordinary locales. For example, we often like to go to local play-cafes or the Children's Museum for random fun. These last couple of weeks I have lived in fear of exposing them to even more germs than they get in their normal routine of school, pre-school, and Y classes.
Finally, for the last bit of weirdness, every morning I eye the front lawn critically, which is slowly growing into the embarrassing range, trying to assess how much longer I can let it go before someone calls the lawn authorities on me. Knowing I can't let it go until after the marathon, I actually am trying to take the time to figure out what the best day would be to fit that in. (Don't want to overdo anything!)
So, does everyone flip out like this before big challenges? Well, of course not. And, I would like to think that if I did more of these then eventually it wouldn't be a big deal for me either. After all, in the greater scheme of things, I realize I cannot control everything, and if something is meant to trip me up before a marathon - or anything else for that matter - then it will. Until that time, though, I suffer through taper-induced anxiety and wait to get this challenge over with. Waiting to see if I can do it or not is killing me.