Well, with only three sleeps before the Marysville Half-Marathon, I am fully physically prepared.
The trouble, now, is just in my mind! It has been a fortnight full of turmoil, parenthood, health issues, and extreme weather. Back in my hometown, Long Beach, New York, things went a bit crazy. Hurricane Sandy hit with a vengeance, leaving the town underwater, and me in great fear for my friends and family. The whole week was a series of Facebook and text messages back and forth, trying to find people, helping to rescue elderly parents who had gotten stuck without phones, water, or power. Thankfully, all my loved ones were safe, though somewhat traumatized. The photos of fallen trees and damaged homes are coming through now, and are both heartbreaking and chilling.
Then, perhaps in response to the stress of all this, a strange bump appeared above my eye. It rapidly grew, then expanded into my eye itself. I looked just like Bear Grylls on Man Vs Wild when he got stung by a swarm of bees. But it wasn’t anaphylaxis, and I sure couldn’t run trails when I could only see out of one eye. A quick trip to the doctor landed me with antibiotics (“You could end up in hospital with an IV drip,” is not what you want to hear a week before a half-marathon). Of course, my BodyPump classes weren’t going to teach themselves, so on Halloween, I got to appear with a monster eye to teach. Fun, fun! I like to think no one noticed.
With a bit of a revised plan, I fit in my last 22km run with a full pack last Friday (just) and a few extra runs during the long holiday weekend.
My real challenge right now is the lack of detailed contour maps of the place I am running. So far, I can only see that the terrain goes up to 1000 m with heights varying around 400 – 500, but not where my particular trails go. Maybe I’ll ask for one of those whiz-bang navigation devices for Christmas, as this seems to be a hard thing to find here in Australia.
Oh, and then there’s the other real challenge – my six and eight year olds. They are the light of my life, the center of my universe, but it is hard to make a race plan when every few minutes, one or the other comes down from bed with an emergency. Tonight it was the Invasion of the Giant Moths, with one in each of my children’s rooms. Man, they were big! I managed to shoo one out the window, and caught the other in a mixing bowl with a magazine lid (I have a no-kill policy; it’s a karma thing). So critters out, kids in bed, and not three seconds later, my wonderful husband appears with seventeen bags of groceries. I’ve just put them away.
So…physically, I can certainly run 21.1km. But I can’t get my head to focus on it with the family chaos that surrounds me. I suppose it is business as usual in my family home. And when I finally do get out on that trail, no matter what the terrain, the hills, the tracks, there will be just me and simplicity.
Which is why I fight so hard to fit these races in. Because I know that come Sunday night, I will be more centered than I have been in weeks. And more content.
Now, off to make dinner. I wonder – do any of you have similar challenges?
- Going the distance: Marysville Half-Marathon and Further (patriciaabowmer.wordpress.com)
- Bear Grylls Is Back: Former Man vs. Wild Star Ready for TV Comeback on NBC (uk.eonline.com)