Marathon Jitters…I’m not ready!

Actually, I was hoping to write about the LA marathon (official website here) after I finished it, but now I’m having second thoughts. By the way, just the description of ‘from the stadium to the sea’ is intimidating right now. So I thought I better post this and if I chicken out, I would have at least trained and tried. Thoughts today include:

  • Will I even cross the line in time?
  • I must have been crazy to sign up! :0
  • This is my first and only marathon and it has been raining so I haven’t trained very well. Yikes!

I actually ran an 8K/5 miles fundraiser yesterday for fun…in the rain. It was an experience for sure. I made sure to slow down on slopes so I don’t slip…I had rain on my face and arms and it was cold. But I was familiar with the route and I’ve done 5 miles on a regular basis, so it was fun. I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t beat my time from last year (slower by 24 seconds) but with the rain and a side stitch (didn’t breathe correctly), I think I did ok overall. But a marathon? Maybe I’m having a bad day, but could I really manage more than 5x the amount I just ran yesterday? I’ve been eating more carbs today (sorry diet, but I will get back to eating better tomorrow), and I guess I pushed myself to go faster than normal on that hill…but I can’t do that in a marathon right? It’s all about survival!

Honestly, I like running. Especially long distance. I don’t run fast, but I like having time to myself to think through different things, enjoy whatever plants and interesting views I encounter, and I especially LOVE to think that I’m burning off extra calories. But not 26.2 miles! And yes, there’s a nice running adrenaline that kicks in for me after mile 4, but I know I haven’t hit the wall yet since I haven’t run long enough. I’m scared. I don’t want that to happen during the marathon. I’ve gone maybe 10 miles outside back in January,  another 10 miles recently on treadmill, and maybe 25-30 miles cumulatively in a week, but it has been raining so much, I can’t get very many long runs in. I’m sure lots of people run in bad weather, but I have my reservations…I’ll explain why. I actually don’t mind running in rain, but it’s the slippery aspect and risk for injury that makes me worry.

I’m embarrassed to admit I fell while running…in front of a busy intersection! I ran in the rain and slipped on leaves many times. But this time I fell when I tripped on uneven concrete on my last step of the run. Talk about bad luck. Worse yet, I fell while holding my iPhone and cracked the screen. So while I was looking around to see how many people saw me fall, I was trying to figure out how much it would cost to fix my phone. Luckily I didn’t injure myself on that fall. (And luckily the screen wasn’t very pricey to fix). Whew!

I should also mention about 6 months ago, I injured myself when I got knocked off mid-jump on a bosu ball during bootcamp. That was the first time I ever got injured and resting for awhile without exercise actually made me mildly depressed. I was truly humbled by the simple tasks of going up and down stairs and standing on one foot to get dressed. That was not fun. I had been the primary caretaker of my kids and all of a sudden I couldn’t do anything for them. I had gotten used to being so active and the doctors said I have to go easy for 3-6 months. I was cautious and listened but as soon as I could, I took a short hike and felt so much better. To me, there’s something about being outside and in nature that makes everything seem ok. My X-rays revealed an ankle sprain and the doctors said I was lucky nothing broke, but I have to wear an ankle brace for 3-6 months. I still wear it out of precaution even though I feel that I have recovered. It was a slow progression back to my workout routine, but I’m grateful for the quick recovery. My balance is still slightly off, but I’m working on it.

So, now I have less than 3 weeks to go. I had a good training schedule and I kept on it until it started raining more recently. I still keep up my regular workouts (kickboxing, circuit sport, weights, spinning), but I added running 15-25 miles during the week whenever I can cumulatively. I know I’m supposed to back off the classes and run more, and I will. But I love my routine, and with the rain, it’s hard to train outside. So I have to keep my endurance up indoors.

So I think ‘cardio-wise,’ I can take probably 2-3 hours comfortably, but I think the marathon might take me 6 hours. The cut off is 6.5 hours. I hope I make it. Even if I just jog half and walk the rest (or maybe crawl) to cross the line. But honestly this will depend on the temperature that day (raining might be ok, but the heat is not for me), the uphill climb in some areas, my energy that day (I have be up at 3am to get ready and drive awhile to get to the starting line), my appetite (I know I’ll be hungry so those energy gels better hold me!), and I hope there are bathrooms readily accessible, because it’s the last thing I want to think of when I run, but sometimes nature calls. Ok, I’m overthinking it, but I know everyone probably thinks about all the ‘what if’s.’

And then there’s what if I forget anything…my ID, my bib, my compression socks, my sunglasses and fitbit, my sunscreen…what if I wear the wrong shoes? Luckily my running buddy is going with me so hopefully she will help me sort through this on race day.

So here’s the self talk of motivation and inspiration. I have to remind myself this is just for fun. This is a mental block and I need to stay positive.

  • I’m not in this for time nor prize.
  • Running a marathon was on my bucket list and I’m not getting any younger.
  • I was unhealthy and over 200 pounds after having kids (especially after a set of twins), I promised myself I will not go back. So even though I’m not at my target weight, I feel like I’m fit and that’s what matters.  And I’m eating healthier (ok just not today).
  • If I can just get to the finish line in time, if I have to crawl to it, I will have hit my goal.

One of my gym instructors always says, “If you never try, you don’t know what you are capable of.” I think I’ll take that to heart for the time being and just do my best. At the end of the day, since I paid for the registration already, I might as well at least try and get a free t-shirt and finisher medal. In the meantime, if you have any insight or motivation for pre-marathon jitters, I would really appreciate a comment.  If weather permits, I’m running 18-20 miles this weekend in preparation. Preparing for a marathon is an experience of a lifetime and I’ll need all the luck I can get!  Thank you for reading and I will update…



17 thoughts on “Marathon Jitters…I’m not ready!

  1. Sorry that you fell in the rain yesterday. Just do your best and don’t push too hard. My husband was in a basket ball season. He broke the finger, but didn’t want to leave the team. By the time the season was over, the broken bone was irreversible. Ankle is more important than fingers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Luckily I fell while running (at the busy intersection) a couple of months ago and sustained no injuries. And the ankle incident was 6 months ago. And fortunately no falls yesterday in the rain…whew! 🙂 I think it made me very cautious though because I know I could fall and I don’t want to have a major injury. Sorry to hear your husband’s finger had irreversible bone damage! You are right though…doing your best and not pushing too hard…good advice I will carry with me. Thank you.:)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I tend to be a pragmatist. My thought is that you really aren’t ready — pre-marathon jitters are totally understandable, but from what you’ve said, you just don’t have the training done.

    Can you do it? Sure.

    SHOULD you? It doesn’t sound like it. Your first marathon experience should be a GOOD experience. Often it isn’t, and being undertrained is often one of the reasons.

    My last question: can you drop back to a half, and look around for another marathon in a month or two when hopefully you’ve had more time to train?

    My $.02 anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment and I am totally thinking like you too…I looked into other options yesterday. Unfortunately the LA marathon has no refunds and no transferrals. 😦 So will have to see what happens in the next few weeks. If it’s raining hard or if I get sick, I’m out. But it’s good to have that flexibility. And I’m not pushing myself hard…it’s good that I can ‘afford’ mentally to not feel pressured. But I know honestly, I won’t have more time to train. At least not before summertime. And then it gets super hot! Hubby’s work got busier and with kids, I’m limited to what I’ve got now. In a way, I planned for it this way because I was training for the 8k I just did 2 days ago. But just not the super long runs in the rain. You are right…a marathon should be a good experience. So if I decide to follow through with it, and for whatever reason I decide to slow down and walk it, I might just do the touristy thing at every mile and take photos. There are so many landmarks and history along the LA marathon, so even if I don’t finish on time, I suppose I can convert it to a little adventure. And then hope for a Disney or Utah run another time! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Good luck to you. I can remember a marathon I ran in San Antonio several years ago that I barely finished. I developed horrible heat cramps around mile 19. By mile 25, I was racing to stay ahead of the “clean up” shuttle that picked up runners that would miss the cut-off time.

    Barely did it, and was my worst marathon time thus far, but in hindsight, probably the one I’m most proud of.

    So, regardless of how it all plays out, I hope you can take a few moments to congratulate yourself for all the hard work, training, and commitment that you’ve put into it thus far. Just in case…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! And thanks for sharing your experience. I needed to hear that despite your struggle and having the ‘worst’ marathon time ever, it’s maybe the one you’re the most proud of…wow! Congrats to you! And it definitely is about the effort too. In my case, I never thought it would rain this much this year, so I was completely blindsighted, but if I end up treating it as an adventure and just do my best, I’m hoping it will all be worth it. And then the next one I do, I hope to be more prepared! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am sure you will make it.
    It is always good to try than regretting what you have not done. By the way, did you run on Wed. at Craig Regional Park? I think I saw you while I was doing my exercise.
    Good luck with your marathon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the encouragement…I’m hoping I’ll make it, and if I don’t finish, at least make an adventure of it! Haven’t really explored LA fully so the places along the race will be exciting for me :). I agree trying is better than regretting…so I’m hoping now to not get sick nor injured before the big day! Too bad I wasn’t at Craig Park on Wed…would’ve loved seeing you there…great park to run at though! I was there a few weeks ago and ran around the lake and the dam. Kudos to you for keeping up with your exercise! 🙂


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