Now is the time in the marathon training schedule when I am getting freaked out by the whole thing. Sometimes I'll be ambling along the street feeling good about my life, and then a malicious little voice in my head will chirp, "You think you're going to run a marathon in a week!? Bwa ha ha!" And the stone drops into the pit of my stomach and I'm in an existential funk.
The other day I saw an email that a fellow marathoner sent out to wide list of people. This email included: a spreadsheet with her anticipated times and mileage markers, the address of the bar where she booked a room for the after party on Sunday afternoon, the colors of the clothing she would wear, the fact that there are special t-shirts made up for the people who are cheering her on, and a detailed explanation of where people could watch her run, and which parts of the course would be especially challenging.
This email blew me away because compared to her, I am grossly unprepared. We haven't figured out where L and my family and hopefully my friends will be; I assume I'll be wearing running clothes, but I haven't quite committed to that yet; based on previous experience, I'm planning on spending the afternoon after the marathon in bed or in the bathroom; and I had figured on not worrying too much about the course, since I knew I wouldn't make a wrong turn anywhere and since I'm already fantastically bored with Central Park, which right now is about as new and exotic to me as my local subway stop. I'm trying to keep this marathon under control in my head: it's just a long run that I'm ready for, and know I can complete. It's going to be a little crowded and weird, but ultimately it's just about me and the road and running in a smart way.
The other day my mom asked what would happen if it rained on the marathon day. I had never even considered this possibility, with my marathon fantasies involving crisp autumn days with leaves falling majestically around me. So I'm trying to broaden my imagination here, to make sure I'll be ready for the main event, no matter what happens. I'm focusing hard on resting and not getting hurt and staying healthy and upbeat; the hard part of the training is done, and now I'm trying to let my body recover until it reaches that point where it is awake and springing up, ready and alert and alive and hungry to do the longest run it has ever known.
This is the marathon.