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Of energy, of will, of belief . . . you name it, and it's been drained from me. I thought these last two weeks before the marathon would be a breeze. Instead, I've either bailed on or walked through several runs, having felt like my body was revolting against me, unwilling to push forward in the most defiant manner. This makes me concerned. If I can't get through five miles, how will I get through twenty-six? I began thinking that it might not happen--I might have to pull out of the race. I imagined myself getting all the way to Chicago, standing in line among thousands of runners on race morning, only to find that my body would quit on me a couple of miles in. What then? Would I duck out in shame, try to continue on, walking? This isn't a walking race. Everyone would be disappointed. I've made a huge deal about it. For months. I made sure everyone I cared about knew I was doing this. And they'd be expecting great things of me--great things I wouldn't be able to achieve. Or maybe I would get injured after all. Then nobody could blame me for not running. It would be sad, yes, but at least I got through all that training. It would be like last time I trained for a marathon and couldn't go through because of injury. And that would become what I was known for--training for marathons, but not running them. Like taking all of the coursework for a graduate degree, but never writing the thesis. It happens.

These are the thoughts that began to occupy my mind. And then yesterday, while trying to just get back to my starting point at Four Green Fields, I convinced myself I was having panic attacks. Part of my anxiety condition that just began to evince itself in my running. Then I panicked more at the thought of not being able to get out of the supposed panic attacks. I kept getting out of breath each time I tried to run continuously without stopping or walking. I felt like I was starting from scratch. Like I'd never run a day in my life until that evening. I tried to tell myself it was just a leisurely run. It didn't count for anything. I could run as slowly as I wanted. It didn't last. I eventually got myself back to the pub, panting as though I'd just sprinted an elite-runner race.

After I gained my composure, I talked with some running buddies at that club. My friend Robin, who ran her first marathon last year, alleviated my anxieties. She said it was normal to feel worn down during this time. She'd read about it. I refused to read about it, as I knew that would only start the anxiety wheel spinning. So I gladly took her word for it. Like she said, I know I can do twenty miles. I did it twice. I just need to get enough rest during these two--now one and a half--weeks. I liked that someone gave me permission to rest. I think I needed to hear it, to know that I was really allowed to do it. I can't wait to go to bed tonight.


You can do it, Lee :) I'll be rooting for you!
Annabella said…
I'll always give you permission to rest :).

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