The first marathon (or kid) is an exciting new adventure and you are really careful to try to follow all the rules, read all the books, and be prepared for every little thing. You carefully make a plan and check it off as you go. You dutifully record firsts and discoveries made along the way.
Then the second time comes around and you kinda just wing it.
Here I sit, a little over 2 weeks out from my second marathon, and when people ask me when it is I have to pause for a moment and think about it. "Uh... ermmmmm.... oh yeah - April 13th!"
Contrast that with Richmond, when I could not only tell you when it was but exactly how many days away too.
As you all well know, I obsessively recorded all 23 weeks of training for my first, carefully tracking all of my mileage, cross training, and experiences. What you saw here was really only the surface... I also had Google spreadsheets and calendars dedicated to the training plan, all of which I updated regularly.
This time... not so much. Things have been a lot different this time around for many reasons: I was injured and missed out on the whole month of December, which pretty much blew my original plan out of the window; the weather just completely sucked and made me lose a lot of motivation; I've continued to struggle with my injury and then finding new shoes; I've expereince weight gain which has gotten me depressed; and although I definitely still love the run, some of the shiny newness has worn off.
I haven't recorded my mileage, I gave up on speed work when it was in the single digits in the mornings during January and I just didn't feel like going to the track, I slacked big time on cross training.
I'm also struggling with a lot more self doubt this time around, which is kind of strange. One would think that I would have been more anxious about my readiness for my first 26.2, but honestly I feel much less prepared for Raleigh and my expectations are pretty low. All of the above reasons have fed into my less-than-enthusiastic feelings about marathon #2.
And if one more person tells me Raleigh is going to hilly, I might just punch them in their face. Yes, I know that. Please, stop reminding me!
However, I will say that I did have a really great 20 miler (only one!) last weekend that went far better than I ever thought it would. It made me feel that maybe - just maybe - I will do okay in Raleigh. Running Twin Teresa just keeps telling me that all we need to do is have fun in Raleigh. I'm trying to believe her, but for a recovering perfectionist, it's hard to be ok with not improving on my first time.
Wow, don't I sound like a downer?
On the bright side, only 2 months until MTT season starts again.
I also hope to start a new series of posts that explore "Running Culture" - something to give me a little bit of focus, which I have been seriously lacking thus far in 2014.
Here's to hoping!