There is a countdown clock on the home page of the Chicago Marathon’s website, which I could check to see how many days, hours, minutes and seconds are left until race day.
I don’t need to look.
I’m well aware that the Chicago Marathon is 122 days, 20 hours, 55 minutes and 30 seconds (as I write this) away. I’m a little obsessed with those numbers and I’m starting to think that is a bad thing.
Obviously, I’m well aware of when the marathon is. It’s the one important race on my schedule, the one race I care about the most, the one thing I’ve geared all of my training for since I found out I was picked in the lottery in December. Clearly, I want it to be a good day and it is important I get myself into a good spot to have a good day. I have a big goal (smashing that 3:47 goal I’ve had for almost six years and running 3:40), but more than anything, I want to prove to myself I can do the work necessary to run a marathon and not fall apart.
But I’m worried about it becoming too important. I don’t want to miss the joy of the journey to Chicago and make myself miserable this summer, worrying about workouts and mileage and every niggle that makes me a little bit uncomfortable. I don’t want this year and that day that is 122 days, 20 hours, 53 minutes and 52 seconds away to be ruined if I don’t have the best possible race. Because, frankly, there is a pretty good chance I don’t have the best possible race. A lot of that is out of my control, if I’m completely honest with myself.
So today as I stand here looking out the window, writing this post and mentally preparing myself for a workout (40 minute progression run, which should be super fun) this evening, I will also remind myself to enjoy the journey. Don’t obsess over how much time I have left to get ready for the race, how prepared I actually am for the race, and how much the months, weeks, days and hours worth of work left freaks me out a little bit (OK, more than a little bit).
I probably sound like a broken record, but it is important that I remind myself (I write these blogs more for myself than any one of the five people who might read this anyway) to have some fun, take each workout and each run on its own, and not to be overwhelmed by the process. To be successful, I need to focus on the process of doing what I have to do on that day, and not worry about what is going to happen in 122 days, 20 hours, 48 minutes and 3 seconds. That day is why I am doing all of this work, but if I let that one day become the end all be all, I’m surely going to be disappointed, no matter what happens.
Work hard today, enjoy today, work hard tomorrow, enjoy tomorrow. It’s as simple as that.
October 13 with be here soon enough, I don’t want to let the months, weeks, days, hours and seconds leading up to it be a miserable experience and I don’t want to let it slip by without relishing in what I’m doing, what I’m trying to accomplish, what I am accomplishing when I put in the work.
I’ll freak out enough on race day, no need to spend the next 122 days, 20 hours, 43 minutes and 2 seconds freaking out.