So, this week I am full on going for it. I am going to let you into the parts of my psyche that make me most vulnerable…the unmentionables that any PR person would tell me to keep to myself. I’m going to tell you what I am most afraid of about running this marathon.
The first thing – and let’s start with a big one – is that I don’t look like other marathon runners. Come on, you’ve seen the Adidas ads. I don’t look like one of them. I am an almost-40 year old mom of two with cellulite and padding in places that most marathon runners have skin and bone and muscle. I know what I’m capable of, so it isn’t about doubting that I can do it, but I do fear people saying out loud, “She does not look like a marathon runner.” And I guess an extension of that is the fear that people will think/say on race day, “She doesn’t belong here”.
I’m also afraid of how long it’s going to take me to finish the race. I’ve wondered if anyone (other than those obligated by DNA and/or a Province of Ontario-issued marriage license) will wait long enough for me to finish. The highlights of both of my half marathons were the moments I looked over to the sidewalk and saw/heard people cheering. I have this recurring dream that people have packed up their lawn chairs and gone home by the time I finish. It’s just me and the people taking down the first aid tents. Oddly, I don’t fear not finishing…just that it will take me so long that I’ll be dodging traffic in Monday morning rush hour to get to what used to be the finish line.
Finally – and this is probably the one that haunts me the most – I am afraid of heart failure during the race (so I guess I fear not finishing in this one very unfortunate instance). Go ahead, I get it, you can laugh. But, it seems that every time I read coverage of a marathon, someone has collapsed. I am, I think, (knock on wood) in good health and am certainly trying to train so that the race day distance is not a shock or unmanageable stress on my body, but going back to what I said above about being a mom of two, these are the things I think about.
The funny thing about fear, though, is that it only has as much power as we give it. It’s not a tangible, so it is only as real as we allow our mind and nervous systems to make it. I am also afraid of flying, but I love to travel, so I guess I have a choice to make, don’t I?
So, there is only one thing for me to do. While I’m writing this – I’m serious, right at this moment – I have opened my web browser and am going to torontowaterfrontmarathon.com. I’m clicking “Register Online”…serious, I’m doing this. Hmmm, ok, guess you have to register through eventsonline.ca…my bad. Entering “Schneider, Corrie” (considering an alias so no one will be able to look up my finish time…see above). Telling them I’m from Freelton…Freelton represent! Entering Eric as my emergency contact and hoping like anything they don’t need to call him (again, see above). Oops, have to hit the back button (forgot to enter what street I live on). Re-checking my information. Grumbling about the fact that I have to pay HST on my entry fee. Here I go…hold your breath…1, 2, 3…submit!!
And here is what the next screen says:
Corrie Schneider is now Registered
for Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon, 1/2 Marathon & 5km!!!!
Can I get a whoot-whoot? Fear: You. Are. Mine.
So, to close, here’s where I’ll now officially be on October 14th, 2012 (thanks for running with me!):