Weeks 14 & 15 – Roadkill and Redemption

So, it’s Week 15, and I am officially in taper mode.  I have 11 days till the marathon.  To pick up where I left off in my last post….

Week 14 basically didn’t happen.  I thought I was gonna go out of my mind.  NO running.  The long runs were over, but I was still supposed to do Monday (5), Tuesday (8), Thursday (8), and a 10K race that was substituting for Saturday’s (9).  And I couldn’t do any of it.

AND I had spent all day Sunday on my feet, walking around beautiful Easton, MD at the 40th Annual Waterfowl Festival…most definitely NOT resting my injured knee.

AND…AND I had just gotten my early birthday present…my new Garmin Forerunner 305!  I was so excited to try it out, but only made it two blocks on Monday before I had to stop and turn back.  Sigh.

The 10K Turkey Trot on Saturday was the source of unending angst.  I really, really wanted to try to run it.  I’d rested all week.  My Running Gurus had told me time and again that I didn’t NEED to be running now…that my fitness was peaked out for the marathon and there was no additional benefit from running that I could gain, nor was there any detriment that could come from resting.  It didn’t help.  I wanted to run that race.  And people were telling me I’d be smart to skip it.  But I didn’t want to hear that…so I kept calling different people till finally George gave me “permission” to run it, as long as I didn’t overtax my knee.

So I decided to go for it, all the while telling myself that I had no stakes in it…that it would be an easy 6 miles to test out my knee and restore my confidence in running again.  My dad came to watch me run, and Lord knows the last thing I wanted to do was let him down and get back in the truck before I had 6 miles under my belt.

I made it through. =)

I was NOT fast.  But I finished.  And I finished strong.  Part of the route was a trail through the woods…a few segments with big fist-sized rocks and muddy puddles with giant tire tracks in them…I admit I walked some of that, just because I was nervous about a bad step.  But I ran pretty much all the rest of it.  When I made it to the homestretch, back at the stadium, where we had to do about 1/3 of the track to the finish line, the strangest thing happened…I got all squirrely in my stomach, the kind you get when you’re really nervous, like stage fright!!  I couldn’t understand why.  I guess I just wanted to finish well, or maybe I was worried my knee would give out in the end if I tried to push it.  I wonder if it’ll feel that way at the end of the marathon.  Huh.  Anyway, as soon as I made the turn into the stadium, I declared in my mind that no one would pass me again, PERIOD.  And I turned on the afterburners and passed as many people as I could, and crossed the finish line in a sprint.  My time was 1:10:48 for 6.22 miles, with an average pace of 11:22.  Not bad for a redemption run.

It was also my first run with my Garmin…which I LOVE!!!

Therefore, after running 36 miles in Week 13…I did a whopping 6.22 in Week 14.  Talk about tapering.

My confidence restored, I headed into Week 15…where mileage drops to Monday (3), Tuesday (5), Thursday (3), and my final 8-miler on Saturday.

Monday’s 3 gave me no problems at all, and I was FAST.  Getting closer to my 30-minute 3-miler.  Thing is, my Garmin watch says that my Runkeeper maps lie and my 3-mile route was really a 2.8-mile route.  Sigh.  So I ran the full 3 miles as the watch dictated…but I got to the “old” finish point at 29:45…like 2 minutes faster than I ever have before. =)

So.

All I want is to finish this marathon.  I’m terrified of a catastrophic knee injury that shows up at Mile 4.  Or Mile 12.  Or whatever.  I’m doing everything I can to rehab it back to normal.  And praying to God that I can show up, put up, and FINISH.  I’ve already promised my mom that I’d pay them back for the tickets if I crossed the finish line walking (and I wasn’t on crutches).  I just want to get down there, do what George calls the 26.2-mile victory lap, and have the chance to cross the finish line on the balls of my feet instead of my heels.

The funny thing is, the Camino should have taught me that the marathon shouldn’t matter.  The journey is the destination.  Just like our arrival in Santiago was a separate thing from the Camino, the marathon should be a totally separate thing from the training journey.  I’ve completed the training journey, for all intents and purposes…there’s nothing left but a couple of light 3’s and a lone 8 left.  I missed a few runs along the way, but I’ve completed this program.  I put in the miles, I put in the time, I kept it going consistently…all under my own will and determination.  If the worst happened next Saturday and the Powers That Be determined this marathon wasn’t in the cards, I would still have this whole 16-week journey to point to and be proud of, and no one could take THAT from me.

The marathon SHOULD be a totally separate thing.

Should.

Ha ha.  But it’s not.  I know it.  I want it anyway. =)

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About merlintoes

Amateur marathoner, constant wanderer, sometime teacher, and pilgrim for life. As of July 2012, I have picked up and moved my life to Colorado, a state where I know no one, have no job, and hear it is very beautiful. I don't understand it myself...but I'm gonna run with it.
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