A million pieces of the same puzzle...

Training for a marathon is insanity. No, really, it is insanity. For those of you who have yet (yes, I said yet) to embark on this amazing journey, it is SO much more than just being able to run for 5 hours at a time.

There is a mental piece of marathoning. Okay, so that is the BIGGEST piece of marathoning. Silencing that voice in your head that tells you that you cannot do this. That you're somehow not 'enough' in whatever capacity it's arguing *today*. Yeah, that changes on a day to day basis. Wheee!

There is also an emotional piece of marathoning... one that I didn't really know existed until this week. I've been feeling emotionally out of sorts for a few weeks. I'll be honest- it was beginning to freak me out... I thought maybe it was time to look into happy drugs! Thank God I talked to a good friend of mine... he didn't even mean to tell me about the emotional part of training... he was actually warning me about the emotional hell of the last 6 miles. The part that follows when your mind and body have both fallen apart... and your heart unleashes its power over you. And in that moment... reading THAT message, something clicked. I got it. I told him about the emotional hell of the past few weeks and he said yep, that's it. Exactly.

How did I never know about this? I've been so busy laying down the pieces of the puzzle... the physical... the mental... putting in the miles on the roads and trails... hitting the weights... cycling... all of it... and yet, I missed one of the most obvious pieces of this crazy puzzle.

This is serious shit too. You have to get to the core of who you really are, and to be quite honest, that is even harder than making your legs move for 5 hours at a time. You see your darkest demons, and your craziest fears right in front of you, and you have no where else left to hide them. I'll be honest... I'm VERY good at hiding this stuff... so to have to face it... well, yeah. I broke. I crumbled and I broke. And I cried. I cried in a way that I haven't cried in a VERY long time... and yeah, it sucked. But it also felt amazing. Release is amazing.

Thank GOD for good friends. The ones who call... the ones who email... who text... who send me messages... the ones who offer a hug and just hold me while I shake. All of you. Thank God for every one of you.

I don't think I'm done breaking yet. But I do believe that by breaking, those broken spots will heal stronger, just like bone. That is the real beauty in this process...
3 Responses
  1. meechellee Says:

    I think what you’re feeling is normal. It’s good to recognize that 26.2 miles is not a walk in a park, at least not for me. With all the time that you put into your training plus the support you get from your family and friends, I’m sure you’ll do great.

    A few weeks before I run my first marathon in 2006, I came across this saying from a Chinese Fortune Cookie which I keep in mind every time I have to tackle a long run: "Be willing to feel uncomfortable. Be comfortable being uncomfortable. It may get tough."

  2. Glenn Jones Says:

    Thank goodness you've recognized this now! Face it - anyone (well almost anyone) can go 26.2 miles. It may take two or three days, but physically it can be done. It's the mental piece that makes all the difference.

    When you get out there and start doubting yourself (yes - it will happen) just remember - this race is your victory lap. You've put in all of the real hard work all the months before in training. This is your time to shine in the sun and give the marathon Gods the big finger!

    And look for the crazy guy running around with the pom poms. That will be me ready to run the last couple miles with you! San Diego here we come!!!!

    (For what it's worth, I took a sit down durng L.A. and almost threw in the towel. The doubt happens to everyone.)

  3. ... And you'll probably break at least a few more times between now and then. I though I'd moved through all of my emotional baggage and was ready for anything, yet I broke in mile 22... completely. I even pulled the blackberry off of my waist and texted my wife - "I'm done." But in the end I reached deep, pulled-it out and finished. You will too. I believe in you!