(That used to be the name of a Thoroughbred who sired many, many racehorses that ran in Maryland when I was growing up. It’s odd what sticks in your brain…)

So, deep breath: this is it. Monday is the beginning of the long journey to 26.2. I just typed that number and can hardly look at it: 26.2! How absurd! What sort of idiot does this? Voluntarily?

I just signed up for my second half-marathon, in North Carolina, in mid-September. That in itself is exciting; getting to run in a new state is also exciting, and getting to have my family there to throw water balloons at me is doubly exciting.

I have concerns, though. Mainly: can I even make it to 26.2? I recall distinctly how I felt after 14.5, and it was painful, which has me worried that getting up to 18 and 20 will be worse. I’m also probably irrationally freaked out that my longest run during this training is 20 miles, even though I’ve read a million times that if you can do 20, you can do 26.2. I didn’t run the full 13.1 before my half in April, and I was fine then, but the week before I’d run 12.6, and at that short (ha!) distance, a half-mile is nothing. Cherry on top of the sundae. This is adding an entire 10k to a 20-mile run, which is not nothing. I know that I will be tempted to sneak a 22-mile run in there, but I’m also betting that I’m going to listen to my body when it tells me “idiot, 20 is fine, and you need to rest”.

I’m also worried about angry tendon. I’m pretty sure it’s tendonitis, and as such I’ve been icing it pretty aggressively every chance I get, plus elevation and ibuprofen, and there’s not been any swelling, but it still hurts a little even when I’m just walking around. I really really don’t want to actually injure it any further, because I’ve been mentally in this marathon for nine months and I do NOT want some stupid thing I could have prevented getting in my way. So, I’ll be researching ways to rehabilitate and stretch it, and hope it cooperates.(Boyfriend’s dad is a PT, so he might have some free advice on how best to mollify angry tendon, which is nice.)

I’m also-also worried about training in the heat. This summer I have proven to be a faltering wimp when it comes to hot weather; biking seems okay, but when my schedule changes after summer school is over, I worry that running later in the day will end up being detrimental.

Really, I’m just anxious because this is a long road and I have a LOT of time to think about these things. There’s plenty about this process I’m looking forward to, for sure: having a goal again (so important for me), getting to eat more (also important for me :)), hooking back up with my running buddy, just getting back into the swing of running- pushing my limits, seeing how far I can go, not being surprised when I end up being awesome.

I’m sure you all are looking forward to the absolute blathering about the marathon I’m going to be doing between now and November, so if you bail on me and quit reading, I understand why. 🙂 That said, I’m going to try to write about more than just the running for this process: I also want to document my nutrition, cross-training, mental health, and what effects this is all having on my life outside of my two running shoes. So it might not be completely brain-numbing for you, should you decide to stick around.

Those are my thoughts this humid, sticky, hot hot hot Friday morning. I hope you all had a happy Independence Day, if you’re in America and were celebrating on Wednesday; I watched baseball, toasted an old friend at a surprise party, and caught fireworks almost literally from my backyard. It was a good, low-key day- one that, double-bonus, ended with cake. What’s not to love?

The journey begins…


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