The marathon training hit a major snag today. Well, the snag won't come for several more weeks, but I found out about it today. Neither of my running buddies plans on finishing the marathon training. That means there will be 2-5 weeks (depending on how long they choose to continue running) where I'll be on my own for the long training run. I don't do solo runs. I'm glad they told me now so I have a bit of time to see if there's someone else I can run with or so I can figure something else out. But after today I wonder if I won't just choose to stop the training also.
There are several reasons I'm torn about the decision. For one thing, in my book it says that if I follow the training and advice I will complete a marathon. That's pretty exciting and I trust it entirely. On the other hand, I'm tired. So tired. Our run today was 11 miles. We ran 8 down the canyon and 3 more in town. I started to get some stomach cramps three or four miles in and those were pretty uncomfortable. It was hard. The opposite of that, of course, is that I never expected this to be easy. Every hard, worthwhile thing I've ever done has always included a time when I wanted to give up and quit. I'm a rather stubborn and prideful girl, which makes me balk at the idea of just saying I'm done without finishing. Then there's how I feel after the long run every Saturday. The runner's diarrhea is bad enough to make me question if I am willing to feel it every week until the end of October. That's 13 more weeks of miserable Saturdays. On the other hand (I'm starting to sound like Tevye), if I don't do this now it is unlikely that I ever will. How will I feel in 13 weeks knowing I had planned on running a marathon that day but had simply given up during the training? That thought grates on me worse than any other. However, there is my family to consider and that is a HUGE consideration. The Hubs has been so wonderfully supportive of me in my attempt. Every Saturday he makes sure he's in charge of the kids and the house while I run and then take a couple of hours to recover and shower. Even after that I'm fairly useless because I feel cruddy. By the evening or the next morning I'm fine, but it's not a fun way for the Hubs to spend his one day that is completely off. There are times when I can see the strain and I feel guilty knowing I'm the cause. I also know that he would never ask me to stop. The kids don't seem to mind that I'm gone though.
So now that you know what's going on in my head I'll move on to the big run itself. I actually really enjoyed most of it. I didn't urn my music on for quite a while because I really love listening to the sounds of the canyon as I run. City sounds aren't my favorite but it's had to beat the sound of a mountain stream--so peaceful. We've been running down the canyon to keep cool, to have an "easier" run, and to train the muscles we don't usually use in a city run. We learned about those running muscles last week. :) We've talked about running the Mt. Nebo half marathon and this is great training for that. Not to mention that the marathon I intend to run is also a downhill canyon race. There doesn't seem to be a better way to train than to actually do something identical or similar to what I plan. Aside from the oh-so-lovely stomach cramps, I think I would have been quite pleased with the run had it not been so hard on my running buddies. It was pretty hard on them which, in turn, got me thinking about what was difficult for me. Not a good way to feel confident. The plus part is that I made it to the top of the final hill by chanting, "I am a marathoner. I am strong. I love to run." until I made it all the way up. That little mental trick works wonders. Really what I need to do is focus on me and what's going on with me to keep totally positive. I think that will give me the best idea of my body's capabilities.