Sorry nuns, but sometimes you just have to swear…
As some of you know, my loving husband maps out all of my running courses. Although he does get an “A” for creativity, sometimes Leanne and I want to kill him because we feel he is trying to kill us. Keep in mind my husband’s main mode of transportation is his car. He uses his zippy Jetta coupled with his hurried driving style to get everywhere he needs to go quickly. This is also how he judges both distance and elevation.
At this stage in my training, running is more a mental game than a physical one. Physically, I would have been ready to run the marathon about a month ago. However, mentally, I still need these last few weeks to prepare. Wrapping your head around 26.2 miles is much harder than getting your body to do it.
I have come to hate the word “about.” For a runner, using the adjective about to describe the distance we need to go or the elevation of our course, keeps us at a constant state of pins and needles. However, non runners use the word “about” all the time. My husband is no different. I remember last year he sent me on a course running down to the Grove, an outdoor LA market. From my place, you take Fairfax Ave. all the way there. I remember loving the first part of this run. I looked down at my watch and I was flying. I felt great and it was a surprisingly easy day. However, when I turned around at the Grove, I realized my tragic fate. The course that was just “about” flat according to Joe was all uphill on the way home.
Sometimes when it feels like I have been running forever without finding my next street to turn onto, I call Joe just to make sure I didn’t mess up. This happened a month ago when I was running my first 15 miler. I had already ran through downtown Hollywood, the Sunset Strip, Beverly Hills and was now approaching the Century City Mall. In my mind, this place was so far away from my house that I would never consider even driving there to shop. Seeing the sign for the mall, clued me in that this couldn’t be right. I had definitely gone too far. I called my lifeline Joe and was hoping that he would say, “Wow, you went way too far. You already ran 15 miles. Wait there and I will pick you up.” However, in reality, he said, “You are going the right way. You are just about there. I think you have about another 2 blocks to go before you turn.” In reality, about another two blocks in non runner speech means anywhere from 2-8 and 8 it was.
This past weekend Leanne and I ran 15 miles. We were on our way home and we approached La Cienega Blvd while we were running east on Santa Monica Blvd. I told Leanne that according to our directions we were taking a left onto La Cienega. As we took the left, we realized our fate. We were better off with rock climbing shoes instead of running shoes because this elevation was vertical. Leanne looked at me and we both agreed that we wanted to kill Joe. However, since Joe wasn’t there, we decided on a different coping mechanism. This time, we swore. The entire way up I used every 4 letter word I could think of and it worked. I got to the top and was able to look down and feel proud.
We also realized what Joe was doing all along. He was also playing our mental game. If he had told us beforehand how steep La Cienega was, we would have been dreading it. We also probably would have built the hill up to be something that we couldn’t conquer. We would have struggled to walk up it. But here we were, running up it. How awesome is that? Maybe the word “about” isn’t that bad at all?
Thank you all so much for continuing to support me. We only have a couple weeks left until my big race. Please keep it coming!!!