BREAKING NEWS: The Olympic trials are in one month.
How the hell did that happen?
The fact that time is passing first dawned on me this past weekend, when I realized with a
start complete shock minor panic
attack that the race was five weeks away. Five weeks! I typically taper for
three weeks, which means two measly weeks left of real training.
The Holy Crap/How Is This Marathon Sneaking Up So Fast feeling is pretty typical, for me at least. You’re in the thick of training, la de dah, it seems like you have so many more workouts and weeks left and then… all of sudden the race is upon you.
But this season feels worse. Maybe because it’s the biggest race of my life, or because things were a bit wonky at the beginning, or maybe the holidays being smack in middle of things threw me off. I still got in all my workouts, but it wasn’t my usual routine. I haven’t been on the track with the GRC girls in what seems like forever. And the race is in a month???
Of course my main freak out is because I don’t feel ready. I want more time—more weeks of big mileage, more long runs, more of everything. Surely I could be faster and nail my goals if I had just a little more time??
That’s pretty normal, too. I’m feeling particularly out of sorts this season, like things just aren’t going quite right, but I think I feel that way every season. It’s easy to look back fondly on seasons that ended well as if everything went smoothly; all the doubts and fears seem forgotten when the PRs happen. If only I could get back the confidence I had during my best season… But the grass is always greener on the other side; I wasn’t brimming with confidence back then either. Truthfully, the grass on both sides is full of doubts.
But no matter how much I doubt myself or my preparation (Have I put in enough work? Will I be able to hit the pace I want?), the reality is it’s better to be under trained than over trained. Over trained too easily becomes injury (and I’ll have none of that, please and thank you).
But all this Only A Few Weeks Left business also makes me oddly sad. I love the training: the routine of it, the constant hum of tiredness, the endless peanut butter jars and banana bunches. Once the race gets closer (oh God, it’s going to get even closer?!) I’ll get the normal combo of super excited and intensely nervous, because of course I love racing, too. Until that happens, though, it’s a little sad the training part is ending.
But the excited nervousness is already starting to surface here and there. The hype is building: Team Teal is busy crafting the most extravagant spectating squad in the history of Trials spectating (I swear I’m not exaggerating on this), my planning is shifting from scheduling workouts to figuring out water bottle strategies and racing outfits, the Trials is the talk of the (ridiculously small) town. I’ve even put in my order for the post-marathon Girl Scout cookie eating binge (i.e. ALL the tagalongs). And every time I see a headline about how Shalane or Desi or [insert your favorite marathon star here] is ready, my heart skips a few beats. It’s coming…
The realization of having only two big mileage weeks left has made me approach them with renewed vigor. I'm going to try to nail the last few workouts, obviously, but also work extra hard to do all the little things to take care of myself. After all, these are also the weeks everything fell apart last time, so despite my freaking out that I’m not ready, the priority needs to be on staying healthy.
Just one month to go.