the thing about the taper is the little worries that tend to creep in: you wonder - did i work hard enough? am i ready? can i do this? but the taper is too late for those worries. it's all done. all the hay is in the barn. and you know in your heart that you did work hard enough. you are ready. and in fact, have probably never been more ready for a marathon. and that's a nice thing to know.
after the columbus marathon, when it became painfully apparent that my nutritional life was not jiving with my running life, i knew i had to make a change. something had to be done to get everything to work together. so i consulted with a health counselor to help me get to the next level. and we have spoken every week for the past eleven weeks. i started referring to them as my weekly couch sessions. we didn't just talk about "food" - there was a bigger picture. if i wanted to progress to the next step i had to be totally honest and come to terms with and admit exactly how many gumdrops i ate. and 'gumdrops', really, at this point is merely a euphemism for the poor state of my nutrition. i had to confess that i hated food. hated supermarkets. hated cooking. would rather not have thought about any of it at all. i would have been happy to exist on air if i could. i had to make some big changes that were not just about incorporating more greens into my diet. and all along the way, i have learned amazing things about myself, my running, getting my body back into a balanced rhythm, and the nutrition that would keep it there.
i had homework every week. while some assignments were easy and fun; others were harder, but all were amazingly enlightening. all the homework, weekly chats, self-reflection, increased awareness of the way my body works, why i do certain things, rethinking the way i think, or didn't think about food; all while training for a marathon -the second in 4 months- was a huge undertaking; but i'm not sure it could have been done any other way. i got to see first hand, real time - how the food and the running worked together. and then i got to see how it all worked and fit into my life. the past four months have just been a series of lightbulb moments, one after the other. the ducks lining up.
it can be a little disconcerting when something you've done forever is no longer working and you're not quite sure how to fix it. i took a leap of faith four months ago when i called jen, saying something needed to change and i needed help to do it. and when the first order of business was to give up all refined sugar, wine and coffee; i wasn't sure what i had gotten myself into. but knew that whatever it was; it would work. i knew if i was given the knowledge and worked hard enough and stuck with it that it would work.
and in seven days, i'll put it all to the test in birmingham. i don't know what this test holds in store for me, (there's the little matter of those hills). i am going in hoping that once i hit those hills they will pale in comparision to what i have built them up in my head to be and i will sail over them. i also go in knowing i am well trained and well taught on how to fuel properly. and most importantly, i'm going in a bit calmer. all the new knowledge equals a greater confidence, less fear. while there is something to be said for the self fulfilling prophecy that may accompany the sort of optimism and confidence that comes with going into something saying 'i am going to reach my goal', it is not in my nature to have quite that level of confidence without thinking i've just put the whammy on myself. but here's what i do know: i do know what the goal is, and i know i'll give it my all to reach it - that said, it is a marathon - and you just never know what it may throw at you.
what i do know is - i'm ready.