It is official. I am scared.
These past few weeks have been a total whirlwind. My fundraiser took over my life – evenings, weekends, nightmares – you name it. I was so caught up in making the event a success that I had to tune out the rest of the world, and the rest of my responsibilities for a short bit.
The day after the event, I took in the scene around me. My house was trashed, laundry piled sky high, wedding present boxes unopened all over the dining room, wedding checklists frustratingly placed on hold, etc. The only thing I made sure of during the chaos of “event time” was to not miss my runs or my workouts. I knew that wasn’t something I could scramble to fix if I neglected it for a few weeks.
So now the event is over, and I have entered the super-charged state of excitement and PANIC. Reader Vicki T asked me to write about how I’ve balanced wedding planning and running a marathon so closely together. Unfortunately, I don’t know that I’ve balanced much of anything, but here’s a look at where things stand, and the reasons I have totally neglected my blog.
The Marathon: Three days to go. To be honest, up until this week balancing the marathon and the wedding hasn’t really been an issue. I think that’s mainly because this will be my third marathon, so I feel like I know what I’m doing this time around. I’ve spent much less time scrutinizing my every meal, slurping Gu’s, and over-analyzing every run and route. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve still taken it seriously. I haven’t skipped runs, and I’ve done the right fueling and planning, but it’s been much more of an on-the-side activity for me this year. Last year I spent every Friday night panicked for my long run, and every Saturday immobile on the couch afterwards. But again, I think that’s just a matter of having more experience.
But all of that calm, relaxed attitude has gone out the window this week. Actually it started in Atlanta. Being there for Casey’s marathon made me realize I had my own coming up, and forced me to start thinking about it…which really scared me. I was a nervous mess before my 20-miler three weeks ago. I knew I wanted to try to run it at my fastest pace, just to see what I could do. The run went well, and my pace was good, but it didn’t really relieve my fears about how hard race-day will be if I actually try to hold that pace for 26.2 miles.
I am not worried about my body. I’m in great shape and I’ve done all my training. I am very worried about my mind. I’m running this thing alone for the first time. I’ve trained alone, so I should be fine, but 4 hours is a long time for me to be alone in my head. I am my own worst enemy. If entertain a single thought of doubt or fear, I will psych myself out and break down, that is for certain. It happened in Chicago. I am determined not to let it happen again. (My heart is beating faster just typing this. Hopefully I’m getting it all out my system now.) Casey will be running up ahead of me, and I’ll be nervous for him and wondering how he’s doing, adding to my anxiety.
I am still not decided on what pace I’m going to shoot for. Do I give it everything, and risk falling apart on Eastern? Or do I hold back a bit, and finish disappointed, knowing I could have run it faster? It’s between me and the road on Sunday…
The Wedding: Ohhh the wedding. Ten days. Tomorrow starts the single digit countdown. I am kicking myself for waiting so long to do so many things. So many of my great ideas and plans seemed like things I couldn’t do until the very end, but now that the end is here, I’m wishing these things were done! I just keep trying to remind myself that if I can make it all happen, that’s great. But if not, it really won’t matter. It’s really just coming down to the hours in a day. Every evening is taken up with last-minute meetings with DJ, photographer, minister, etc; last-minute trips to Ikea for various items, planning menus, planning grocery store trips, planning, checking, and more planning. I’m trying to get it all done this week so that when my friends and family arrive, I can sit back and relax and enjoy it. Planning events is what I do for a living, so I know what I’m doing, and I know what I still need to do. Right now, my days are literally planned out hour by hour, but that’s how I operate best. I have a plan and a list, and if I just stick to it, I can make it all happen. I have a wonderful team of friends and family ready to help the minute it is needed.
The one thing I can’t plan or organize or bullet-point is my whacked-out emotions. My sister emailed me her wedding website and I sobbed for 20 minutes. We picked out our ceremony music with the organist and I was the only bride of the bunch who was (embarrassingly) in tears. I tried on my dress at my final fitting an nearly passed out. Casey and I sat and looked through old photos and I was overwhelmed with tears and love.
My life has been turned upside-down and sideways, I’m not sleeping, and all I want to do is eat peanut butter. I am stressed about how much is left to do for the wedding. I am terrified that my mind will convince me I cannot keep running for 26.2 miles. I am checking weather.com at least 100 times a day. Vicki, I cannot call this balanced.
BUT – I can tell you this. Despite it all, this is hands-down the happiest I’ve ever been. I am surrounded by friends, family, love, hope, and dreams of a future that I look forward to every day.
Wedding chaos? Honestly, who cares. Running 26.2 miles? It’s 4 hours of my life – bring it.
I wouldn’t trade this for the world.