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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Last Training Run

If I were the sort of person who kept track of numbers -- miles ran, hours spent, times accrued -- I would be able to tell you that these last 2 miles that I ran this evening brought the total training mileage/hours/times to ___________.

Alas, I am not that sort of person.

What I can tell you is that there's a strange mixture of relief and sadness about finishing the training: I'm relieved that the more than four months spent preparing for Sunday is nearly over so that I can resume my regularly scheduled life (in which I will surely choose some other race to train for and prepare for); but I'm also saddened that the training is at its end. As mentioned previously, I've spent more than four months of runs with a singular goal -- prepare for Chicago -- and now that they're over, it's like a huge chapter in the year and in my life is coming to a close.

I realize, of course, that it is all leading up to the marathon, which hasn't happened yet, but in many ways, I think training for the marathon teaches us just as much, if not more, than the marathon itself does. Especially because I'll be finished with that marathon in a matter of hours, but I've spent days, weeks, and months in training. Over that course of time, I've experienced euphoric triumphs and I've felt unbelievably disappointed and frustrated: I've sweat (a lot), I've cried, I've laughed, I've nearly barfed, I didn't finish some runs, I exceeded expectation on other runs, I've been rained on and splashed, I've eaten my far share of gnats, and I've turned around because of lightning, I've run through incredible heat and humity, I've run in the dark and under heaven's hot glare, I've run tired, and I've run with all the energy of a crowd, I've run by myself -- miles and miles all alone, but I've also run with others, I've even been left behind by others, I've run to the sound of crashing drums and to the quiet of the night's air. I've run.

I think it all -- bugs, sweat, lightning, disappointment, fear, joy -- has helped me understand myself and what I am capable of in a new way. So, no matter what race day brings, I know I trained well and I've made this MY experience.

That has its own sweetness.

*I'll post again tomorrow morning, peeps, before we go, and then you probably won't hear from me until we get back Monday night. So:
Good night. Sleep tight. See you in the morning light.*

28 comments:

sRod said...

beautiful post.

ws said...

numbers, who needs 'em anyway.

absolutely positively the same thing I've been feeling and I'm not even in taperville yet. Can I hire you to write my post on October 26th?

Jess - you rock. You've been a fighter through all this crapy weather that no one understands unless they've lived it. You pulled yourself through the frustration of the middle weeks of training and recovered wisely from the pain and discomfort of logging mile after mile.

I'll probably miss your morning post...so, have a safe trip to Chicago, an easy commute to the starting line, great weather for running and an absolutely awesome experience running your marathon. Can't wait to hear about it when you get back...

Non-Runner Nancy said...

Awesome post, Jess. With every chapter close comes something new...

Best of luck!

Jes said...

Oh I love this post. Thank you so much for sharing and inspiring! I wish you the best of luck on your race!

runner26 said...

This is a wonderful way to sum up the training experience. You've gained a lot of perspective on what it means to run a marathon (most of it takes place before you even start the race). I wish I was going with you--but know that I'll be there in spirit. I hope you get the chance to meet some ny flyers out there ;) Best of luck!!

Marcy said...

ROFLMAO Ohhhh Wendy you did not just type that :P LMAO!

Awesome post chica! It seems like just yesterday you started the marathon #2 journey. I'll be stalking you :P

scott keeps running said...

you rock jess. great luck/skill this weekend.

David said...

Holy crap, you totally have to sell that to a running shoe company. That was awesome! Excellent capture of the feelings that swirl as you approach the end of a lengthy, and difficult, training plan. Congratulations; in my book you have already completed the most difficult part.

Doug Cichon said...

Wow, well said Jess.

You're right in that it is the end of a chapter -- but its been one hell of a chapter. Its one you'll re-read several times, believe you me!

The training in the heat and humidity is going to pay off BIG TIME on Sunday! With the sub-optimal weather that is being forecast, you will have a huge advantage compared to people who were training in ideal conditions.

Best of luck to you; can't wait to here your race report! You're going to rock this thing!

teacherwoman said...

Well written sista!

If I don't get a chance to comment on your post before you leave, good luck and enjoy! You will do great! I can't wait to read the report on the whole thing!

Time to ROCK ... AND ... ROLL!

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

Best wishes!!! Great attitude!! Looking forward the the race report

Erin said...

I feel all choked up after reading that post. Good luck this weekend and have a blast! I will be here rooting you on!

Ryan said...

You will do well this weekend. You are the Ronnie James Dio of marathons.

MN Mom said...

Wishing you good luck on the race. I hope good luck is the appropriate term. I mean I doubt if it would be break a leg...but there might be something more suited...how about kick ass.

miss petite america said...

awesome post. i've been feeling a lot of the same things too. and you've been in my thoughts on many a training run. so i'll have my fingers and toes crossed for you on sunday. but you won't need it, because you'll rock hard all on your own!

Laura N said...

Loved this post. Very inspirational. Hope you kick ass in Chicago!

eyegirl said...

Good Luck, Jess! You are gonna rock that race.

L*I*S*A said...

Um, ditto.

See you in ChiTown.

Let's get ready to run. :)

Running Jayhawk said...

love your perspective, jess.

Let_It_Go said...

Here's to a wonderful race on Sunday!! Enjoy :)

JustJunebug said...

THAT right there is what IT IS all about.

A love/hate relationship with this obsession we have to push ourselves to the edge and back.

Only to go back for more.

I am incredibly proud of you.

J~mom said...

I love this post!!! Congratulations on completing your training! I will be cheering for you on Sunday from blogland! You rock girl!

Debbi said...

Have a great run, Jess. As others have said, you captured the essence of training so beautifully. I can't wait to hear what's next for you!

Wes said...

I felt exactly the same after my five months of training for my Olympic tri. Well put :-)

Neese said...

make this race your bitch! ;)

Mendy said...

VERY well said! That was inspiration. Loved the way you put all your hard work training into words!!!!

Good Luck Jess!

Laurel said...

Hahah...you have described running in South Florida to a tee with the humidity, lightning and gnats!

You wont see this before the race, but good luck! I can't wait to read about it!

Laura N said...
This comment has been removed by the author.