Am I mentally tough enough?

Hello all and Happy 2015!

I know it’s been quite awhile since I’ve posted and yes, I still owe you my Chicago Marathon recap. As you can tell by my lack of posts in 2014, it’s been more and more difficult to post recaps; my heart just wasn’t in it like in the past. Part of that has to do with the fact that I felt I was posting the same stuff over and over. And I definitely don’t want you to feel as you’ve already, “been there, read that”. But I’m hoping my 2015 adventure will bring with it new insights, new revelations, new experiences and in turn… new blog posts.

What, you may be asking, is my 2015 adventure? Well, since you asked – I’ll let you in on my unofficial goal for 2015. I say unofficial because I have not yet signed up for the event because registration doesn’t open until March. And until I’m signed up, I don’t consider it official. But my “unofficial” goal is to run AND complete the Fall 50 as a solo runner. As the name implies, it’s a 50-mile race in fall. Clever! I’ve had my sights set on the Fall 50 solo for over 5 years but different circumstances did not make it an option until 2015. I’m gearing up to give myself the best chance to finish the Fall 50 with the least amount of pain and discomfort possible. I’ve already talked with a trainer and coach to get me ready and get me to the finish line. One of his biggest hurdles he is going to have to deal with is me and my lack of confidence and getting me mentally ready, along with getting my physically ready. I am very much a “mental” runner and analyze and over analyze everything. And that makes me second-guess everything. So he’s not only going to have to get me in physical shape to run an ultra marathon, but he’s going to have to whip me into shape mentally too. He’s definitely going to earn his money with me!

Speaking of getting ready mentally, in the past I’ve run a marathon for my mom and I’ve run a marathon for both my mom and dad. And when I say I’ve run for them, I really mean I ran them in their memory because they have both passed away. I’ve come to terms with this (as much as I can) and the last few marathons I’ve run, I’ve known they weren’t going to be around for them and I wouldn’t be able to have their support or be able to give them my recap. Actually my mom has never seen me run and my dad only saw me run one marathon. And like I said, I’ve been coming to terms with this. But the reality of the journey I’m setting out on and the fact that I won’t have their support really hit home the other night. Actually it took me by surprise how it – out of nowhere – took my breath away and reality slapped me in the face… hard.

We were with a bunch of friends and we were talking about my husband completing his first Ironman this past fall. His parents surprised him on the course and our friends had spent some time with his parents on the course. They were all sharing stories about how proud Brian’s parents were and how they were “just beaming” and how Brian’s dad in particular was so proud and how he walked around with his chest puffed out because he was just so proud of his son. To this day, he still shows family members videos of the event and smiles ear to ear when he talks about what his son did.

Hearing everyone talk about Brian’s proud parents, instantly made me remember how proud two of my friends’ parents were when they completed the Fall 50 years ago. I have such a vivid memory of my friend Ty’s dad running behind him in his jeans and winter jacket ringing a cowbell and cheering him on. Again, so damn proud of his son, he had tears in his eyes. It was the cutest thing and one of my biggest memories of Ty’s Fall 50 run.

And I also remember how proud Stosh’s parents were when he completed the Fall 50. (And yes, me and my friends are freaks. Ironman, Fall 50… we go big!) His mom was so emotional throughout the whole day. Watching her, watching her son… was great. It was emotional and fun. She cried at the finish line and it was so sweet.   Such a special time for them.

And while my mom’s been gone for almost 11 years and my dad’s been gone over 4, the reality of it really hit me hard when I realized they wouldn’t get to watch me run the Fall 50. It was both lonely and de-motivating. And honestly, the sick feeling I had in my stomach and the heartache I had, out of the blue, took me by surprise.

So, while I know they will “be with me”, during the run. It’s not the same as if they were with me physically. Having my dad hold a sign, all smiles and beaming like a rock star or my mom ringing a cowbell, is something I won’t have at my run. They won’t be able to tell relatives how proud they are, or what the day was like and how much fun they had as part of the crew. Seeing them on the course is a very important aspect of getting through a grueling day that I won’t have. And it’s a memory or recap that I won’t be able to share years after the race is done.  I won’t get to hear my friends talk about what it was like to hang out with my parents all day or how they reacted as they saw me on the course.

And this makes me sad. Very, very sad.

So yeah, Coach Craig, when I said I’m a “mental” runner and you’ve got to get me out of my own head… you really have your work cut out for you. Good luck with that!

Until next time,

Gotta run


4 responses to “Am I mentally tough enough?

  1. Though it won’t be the same as having parents there, the support crew you DO have, will rock the hell out of this race for you. (Also, good luck, Coach Craig!)

  2. What about us! Don’t we count….. When it comes to being proud of you and your accomplishments?

  3. Well, I’m not sure if you count because I don’t know who you are?! You could be a crazy stalker and in that case, nope, it would not count!! 🙂

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