Screw your courage to the sticking place.
That’s what I’m telling myself a few days before the Marysville Half-Marathon. And oddly, it’s not even the running that has me scared.
It’s the two-hour solo drive.
I wish I could be one of those fearless people who just do things. Like drive solo to a trail race without terror. But I’m not from around these parts. I’m from New York. Place names and road names don’t mean as much and navigating alone to a new place is hard for me.
But so what?
I’ve been aiming at this race ever since the Roller Coaster Run Half-Marathon back in March. Back then, I was running with a bad case of heel and calf pain, and right afterwards, I commenced a six-week break from running. The plan was to cross-train and get strong again, in all the ways I had lost over my last two years of long-distance running.
A very gradual build from a 3k walk/run in late April has finally got me to the 20k mark, and relatively healthy. My heel still hurts now and again, but the strength has returned to my gluts so I can power up hills in a brand-new way. I managed my favorite run at Mount Dandenong two weeks ago, for 20k in 2:47 (heaps of elevation, though I was consciously going slow, I say defensively). So I’m ready.
But always, at the back of my mind, there are these niggling doubts. Which hydration device to use? Will there be snakes around and will I step on one? Is Red Hill as bad as I remember from the Marathon a few years ago? Will the roads be twisty and windy and scary to nagivate? Will the cars back up behind me and beep and force me to go faster than I want? Was substituting two swims a week for two runs a good cross-training plan or utter stupidity? Blah, blah, blah.
Usually, my family would go with me to Marysville. My husband would drive, and I’d relax and nagivate. This year, we’ve added a ten-week old Cavoodle to our home, an adorable puppy named Billy (a Cavoodle is a poodle and King Charles Cavalier cross – he looks like a tiny black teddy bear with sharp teeth but he thinks he is a Labrador-Kelpie because that’s what his sister is). He was going to the source of a blog called “The Stupidest Thing I’ve ever done: Part 2” but I’ve been too busy cleaning up after him, and laughing at the antics of the two dogs playing to write.
Anyway, strangely, my husband doesn’t fancy shepherding the two kids and two dogs around Marysville while I gallivant in the woods for a few hours. Go figure.
So I’m on my own (except for all the cool trail running friends I can’t wait to see!).
Trouble is, those cool friends won’t be in my car with me to tell me where to turn. And where not to. So I’m going to have to harden up and do this on my own.
Screw my courage to the sticking place. That quote is from Lady Macbeth, according to my Google search. If I recall my Shakespeare from college correctly, that story didn’t turn out so well .
Perhaps I’ll think of this other old favorite from Mark Twain, that I’ve borrowed from http://www.quotegarden.com
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear. Except a creature be part coward it is not a compliment to say it is brave. ~Mark Twain, Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar, 1894
Please be kind if you see me on the road (I’ll be the one backing up traffic), and know I’m summoning up all my courage to get to the start line.
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