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The First Long Run

July 10, 2010

4 miles.  That’s how far I’m supposed to run today.  I know I’ll get it done at some point, but right now it’s raining.  And that has led me to more fear.

I actually ran my first half-marathon in the rain.  And it sucked.  I don’t know how, but I actually forgot that fact until this morning when I looked outside my window and saw torrential downpour.  So now I’m over the fear of pain (for the moment), and  suddenly I’m thinking, “What if I train for 5 months and it rains!?!”  I am petrified that it is going to rain for all 4 and a half hours that I am running in Memphis.

A good race for me is composed of so many factors: good organization (by the people hosting the race), pleasant crowds, good weather, etc.  I’m the type of person who is very easily affected by the elements.  If my stomach is cramping or my heart is beating too fast or people are screaming, “On your left! On your left!” it generally puts me in a bad mood.  I realize now that if I’m going to train for 5 months and I’m going to ENJOY the marathon, then I’m going to need to spend the next 5 months doing more than physical training and fund-raising.  I’m going to have to mentally train.

I had a friend in high school who used to say that existence is all in the mind.  If it was 100 degrees outside and sweat was dripping from our brow, he would turn to me and say, “I’m so cold right now.  I’m actually freezing.” Of course I thought he was absurd, but now I’m recollecting and I’m wondering if maybe he has a point?  It might not have prevented him from sweating, but his mood and attitude were never dampened.

For today, I’ll do my run on a treadmill.  It’s not the great outdoors that I was looking forward to, but it will shelter me from the weather  – and fear – at least for today.  After all, I could go run 4 miles outside.  But let’s be realistic … I just started my training and mentally, I’m not there yet.

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