I've been having a minor meltdown these last couple of weeks.
Tapering is harder than it seems. I'm supposed to be using these weeks to rest my body and get prepared to run farther than I've ever run in my life (something I've been doing a lot of lately). Instead I feel antsy, stressed out, and kind of creaky.
My joints make noise. They don't make noise when I'm running longer distances. Right now my knees, ankles, and feet are snap-crackle-popping whenever I walk up or down stairs. It's weird.
I've also been stress eating. Cookies? Are not carb loading. I'm eating out of boredom and a constant fidgety feeling. I have to be careful tomorrow and Saturday...nothing goofy to eat or my guts will teach me a lesson on Sunday. I'm stressed about a lot of things, but mostly about the weather. It's supposed to be hot. Not "hot" as I usually define it (OMG, it's like 55 degrees! It's so hot!), but truly, honestly, dangerously hot. I do not do well in hot weather, so that is freaking me out pretty substantially.
One thing I've learned over the last 5 months is this: I am my own worst enemy. I try to give off the vibe that I am a confident person. It's not a total lie, there are several aspects of my life in which I feel very confident. The rest of the time? I'm kind of a mess. Hypercritical, self-loathing, defeatist. All those awesome things you want to be before a marathon.
If I can't stay out of my own head on Sunday, I won't finish. It's that simple. To that end, I've decided to play a little game with myself to pass the miles and pass the time. I am going to write down 26 things on little slips of paper, one for each full mile. As I pass the mile marker I will release that thing, either by freeing it into the wind, tearing it to shreds and tossing it away, or grinding it under my shoe. This will be part dedication and part catharsis. Here are a few examples:
I am so slow.
I am too fat.
It is too hot.
I am too tired.
I am too lazy.
I will dedicate a mile to my Dad, to be sure, and to my sister. Maybe one for each of my kids and one for my husband who is jealous I got to do a full before him. Mostly I want to pull the negative self-talk out of my head and smash it on the ground.
The last 0.2 will be dedicated to me, for persevering through training in the freezing cold and driving wind, for facing my greatest racing fear and coming out on top. I want to wear that finisher's shirt and know I earned it. I want that medal around my neck.
I am ready.
Bring the marathon.