Monday, July 23, 2012

oh how i have come to despise the word "plan"

"Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it's all about."
-Patti Sue Plumer, U.S. Olympian

a few days ago i had this conversation with a soon to be ironman (always good to have friends who are just a bit more stupid hardcore than you are, helps keeps things interesting):

me: just picked up my race day fuel #omgfreakingout
a: what are you worried about? this is like your 5th marathon
me: 6th
a: see... youve done all this before
me: but this time im really running a marathon. this is the first one that im not going to just be dicking around and taking pictures and texting and making silly phone calls and bringing along snacks and taking walking breaks and stopping for jello shots...
a: just relax and kick ass.
me: sure.
a: what did you get for fuel?
me: doritos and bud light? ...ugh. gu and chomps.
a: alright... do you have a race day strategy yet?
me: strategy? of course i have a strategy: just run.
a: just run? there is no way i could do that...
me: whats wrong with that strategy?
a: i need to have a plan... and sub plans... and backup plans... and backup backup plans... and super awesome plans if things are super great and super bad plans if things go to shit. and a plan of when to initiate each plan. i think a lot... potentially too much...
me: whoa. my plan: just run. if that doesnt work for me, im kinda screwed
a: im just going to pretend you have plans, youre making me nervous
me: what makes you nervous?
a: you not having a plan...

alright. so i guess i need "a plan" (or apparently six hundred plans). ive been in denial of wanting ONE plan (let alone eight trillion...), despite knowing a specific region of time that i would like to finish around (ya know, within 25 minutes of a specific time, plus or minus. its still a plan, right?). of course i still think my "just run" plan is pretty stellar. i mean, hi, have we met? do you think i ever have a PLAN for anything!?

plan: run a marathon/finish the marathon
    when to initiate plan: 7pm, friday july 27th, til hopefully sometime before sunday?

sub plan: run/walk the marathon
    when to initiate sub plan: when i get sick of running (who runs marathons, seriously?!)

backup plan: dance, sing songs, get my phone from ty and take pics, call friends, text, order a pizza (delivery of course "address to where we deliver?" "uhhh the lake?")....
    when to initiate backup plan: mile 6? (its a friday night, who runs a marathon on a friday night?!)

backup backup plan: (seriously ?) stay home?
    when to initiate backup backup plan: friday about 2pm before leaving would most likely be a good time to initiate this backup backup plan, would definitely save some gas (although clearly chips probably has a huge party planned with the neighborhood strays so i dont want to spoil her fun.... thanks for the reminder, meg!)

super awesome plan if things are super great: run the marathon real stupid fast!!
    when to initiate super awesome plan: when things are feeling super great, duh (hopefully 7pm, friday night)

super bad plan if things go to shit: cry. i do that pretty well.
    when to initiate bad plan: when things go to shit (ie- probably when im stuck in the port-a-potty)

alright, there. so now that ive pleased a certain someone with my "planssssss", lets get real.

coming upon the final days leading up to fridays race, a lot of things are going through my head. one minute im all "i cant wait for friday, friday cant come fast enough, omg im so excited for this race, is it friday yet?!" and the next minute its "i dont want to run. today, tomorrow, friday, EVER." excitement and anxiety mixed with denial. i think the only thing that is certain right now are the sneakers im going to wear (note to self, do NOT forget those!)... i have yet to finalize my top, shorts, socks, sports bra, hairstyle (yes this is important...), should i carry water or not, etc. im kinda a mess right now, which shouldnt surprise anyone.

butall in all, i know ill be alright come friday night.

things i need to remind myself:
1. breathe
2. clear my mind
3. do not fear the unknown
4. be confident
5. you cant change the weather
6. shit happens
7. expect the unexpected
8. just breathe (this whole thing aint happening if that doesnt....)

goal #1: "Anybody can do just about anything with himself that he really wants to and makes his mind to do. We are capable of greater than we realize."


goal #2: "Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, 'Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'"

-sub 4

goal #3: "Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it."

-PR (4:15:24)

as you can see there is no 3:34:59 on this page (well, except for right there when i just wrote that). i never had that as my goal for this marathon. maybe one day in the future it will be, but right now is not the time. do i get jealous each year in april of everyone running? of course. i really dont think thats an odd feeling to have. but i will get there in my own time. or maybe i wont. and im ok with that.

later this week ill post my training log and compare with my other marathons. not one of the 6 marathons have had the same training, thats for sure. training for this marathon has been a challenge in many ways. ive come a long way from thinking i wouldnt even run a marathon this year (who really thought i would be able to do that... show of hands now... come on, dont be shy...) to pretty much kicking this training programs ass (well it kinda kicked MY ass, but...). 18 weeks of laughter, countless tears, 4am wake up calls, laps around the track "for fun", sleeping in due to rain, complaining, getting lost, ice baths, a LOT of beer, lost toenails, ice cream for dinner, uphill climbs, sleepless nights.... (dont you all just want to get out there and train for a marathon? i paint such a lovely fluffy rainbows and butterflies picture, dont ya think??!!)

but in all seriousness, i set out in march to challenge myself. and i have done just that. whatever happens on friday is what was meant to be. 

“Running isn't a sport for pretty boys...It's about the sweat in your hair and the blisters on your feet. Its the frozen spit on your chin and the nausea in your gut. It's about throbbing calves and cramps at midnight that are strong enough to wake the dead. It's about getting out the door and running when the rest of the world is only dreaming about having the passion that you need to live each and every day with. It's about being on a lonely road and running like a champion even when there's not a single soul in sight to cheer you on. Running is all about having the desire to train and persevere until every fiber in your legs, mind, and heart is turned to steel. And when you've finally forged hard enough, you will have become the best runner you can be. And that's all that you can ask for.” 
-Paul Maurer, The Gift- A Runner's Story


  1. I know I already texted you about 20 times regarding the awesomeness of this blog post but I'll say it again: Awesomeness x a million.
    And plans be damned! Bwahahahaha!

    1. were gonna rock this race so hard... between the hair color, the stylish outfits (you know i packed my big pimpin sweatpants already), and our pure overall awesomeness (and cheering crowd), wakefield isnt gonna know what hit them.

    2. I want to wear the sweatpants even if it's 100 degrees out just for old times sake... And because they are dead sexy and awesome. Also. we are indeed going to rock, mostly due to our fashion! (and skillzzz. yes.) (and posters!!) :-)

  2. I pretty much like your plans! I mean this whole post here has me all excited to do my marathon ... and that isn't until October!

    My plans usually go like this .... get there early. TRY to eat. Almost puke. Try again. Almost puke. Give up on food. Run. See the finish line, speed up, cross, puke.

    Do NOT follow my plan... unless you come prepared with a paper towel in your pocket for cleaning your face when you puke. It is so embarrassing that I actually plan for it now.

    I'm pretty jealous of this night marathon thing you've got going on. That sounds freaking AWESOME!!

    1. haha oh my, i dont want to throw up! but im assuming since ill actually be trying to run (fast and hard... thats what she said?) it might be a very realistic situation....

  3. IT WILL BE HARD IT WILL BE WORTH IT. write it on your arm or something. MAN I am so pumped for you!

    1. good plan... oh theres that damn word again...

  4. haha your conversation with the stupid, er, hardcore ironman guy made me laugh. Plans are over-rated. I like the "just run" plan. Works for me. But I haven't done a real marathon so don't take it from me.

    But seriously, plans are lame. ;)

    1. i LOVE the just run plan! ive done 5 marathons, so take it from me, just run is a great plan. but yeah, plans are stupid... so can i just forget im running, just show up, and be all oh yeah, JUST RUN! ;)