A Slow Freak

It looks scared, doesn't it?
It looks scared, doesn’t it?

How far away is the Pittsburg Marathon?

As I’m writing this…

68 Days.  17 hours.  46 minutes.  30 seconds.

29…28…27…

And now begins my slow freak…You know how one day your tire looks a tad low and then suddenly, it’s just completely flat?  Well…I have sprung a slow freak as opposed to a slow leak.

I’m not in total freakout mode yet.  But I do experience mild panic at the beginning of every run now as my brain races to calculate pace times, miles missed, and hotel accomodations.  There are simply too many thoughts pressing into my brain at once.  Something has to give and by something, I mean my sanity.  I get short of breath, my heart pounds, my stomach gurgles.  And none of it has anything to do with the actual exercise I’m performing at the moment.

It’ll get worse.  It will build steadily throughout the next few weeks, cresting just before my 20-mile excursion and disappearing almost completely once I complete it.  At least, that’s how it went down the last time.  Each new run will see me beginning with jerky movements, ragged breathing, and much adjusting of my earbuds and armband.  I will worry that I’ve over/underdressed; that I have brought along too much/too little water/Gu/E&E; that I’ve worn the wrong socks (knee socks don’t have the cushion and ankle socks don’t have the warmth); that I am running too fast for a proper recovery and too slow to keep up with my marathon buddies.  I will overanalyze every twinge of the shins and knees, agonize over the absence of portapotties along my route, and berate myself for not hydrating enough.

Then the 20-miler will be tucked neatly under my fuel belt and I will return to my regular cocky self, scoffing at all previous worries.  Any time I falter, I can take out those 20 miles and mentally pet them like an imaginary rabbit’s foot.  A brightly dyed pink one, because I’m a strong woman runner.rabbits+foot

I thought I would be able to skip this portion of the training this time around, seeing as how I’ve already done the marathon thing before.  Then I got shin splints, stomach bugs, and a hectic schedule – and enough missed runs that the slow freak was well on its way before I even realized anything was amiss.  Now that I know, it’s still gonna continue.  Any attempt at controlling the slow freak will only result in a quicker spiral.  Type A me is a stubborn gal and she will have her panic attack one way or another.  It’s best just to let it wash over me, bang out that extra long run, and have it done with.

And then the runs can be fun again and the race and mini-trip can be exciting.

Until I hit that starting line and my bladder begins playing “Do I or Don’t I?” all over again.

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