So here we are. A week, no, six days before my first marathon, and I just finished my last 'long' run. While the run wasn't long by the usual standard, only 13 km, it is the longest I will run until next thursday. Then - I will run 42.2 km in Tiberia.
Most of us have Garmins, or some similar gps / pacing device, so it's easy to look back and see the progress one makes over the course of time. However, I would hedge a bet that my own memory is better than my Garmin at measuring the progress I've made - especially over the past 19 weeks of training. While I can't give exact paces and times for runs from memory, I do remember exactly how I felt at the start of this training. I remember my first 15 km long run - and can recall with absolute clarity the difficulty both physically and mentally in finishing it. Telling my husband that I don't think I can do this, I'm simply too old - and past my time, and maybe I will never be able to run a marathon....
And then, I remember the weeks that followed, 17 km, then 19 km, then 24 and 29. Finally 32 km. And I did that run four times! Each week I felt a little bit stronger - and with that came the possibility that maybe I wasn't too old, and maybe I could do this after all. And you know what, I think I can run a marathon. Yes, my pace got faster and my stamina and endurance built, but more important than that, my confidence grew. Now I knew I could do it - and that's what the garmin can't measure.
Running Bubby - The name really personifies my two most important identities. Even while I was still raising my own children, I dreamt of the day that I would also be a Grandmother - a Bubby. Motherhood has been so satifying to me - and I knew that if I had the drive and energy, Grandmotherhood could be equally, or perhaps, even more rewarding. I was not wrong. Five grandchildren later, I'm still prepared to welcome more!
At the same time - I have also dreamt of being a Runner. I've pounded away many hours and just as many miles on my treadmill, dreaming about running races, and crossing the finishing line - looking for my families faces in the crowd as they cheer me on. Sure, I've run for 18 years - but I only considered myself a jogger. An exercise enthusiast. But now, I feel like a runner. I am a Runner.
I'm at a very happy place right now. And I can say with all honesty that even if for some absolutely, bizarre, strange reason I can not run the Tiberius Marathon next week, I'll be satisfied. I know I can do it. And I will.
Wish me luck,