For the last couple weeks I've had a song stuck in my head. It's from several years ago. "Break Down Here" by Julie Roberts. And why is this song stuck in my head? I'm pretty sure it's because I feel like my body is breaking down. Every run the last 2 weeks has been a struggle. A slow struggle. Now before you panic on my behalf, this feeling is part of the process. And probably my body is breaking down, but it has to break down in order to get stronger. Personally, I'd rather just skip over the breaking down and go straight to stronger. Being strong physically, is only part of what is needed for a marathon.
Let's skip right over and talk about the other part of marathon training - mental toughness. Here's the deal, the marathon is at least ten times more about mental toughness than it is about physical strength. You can train your body to do almost anything. I completely believe that. The mind seems to be less easy to train. This is going to be my third marathon. But this is going to be my first marathon that has a half marathon option. In my previous marathons, everyone ran 26.2 miles. In this one, lots of people will veer off around mile 12.5 and be receiving their pretty blue Tiffany box when I am only half way through the race. Talk about mental toughness, it will take a lot of digging deep to keep going past that turn.
Today has been a crappy day. And that is saying it nicely. I have a lot of bad words I could use to swear at this day. I felt this way about my long run 2 weeks ago. It was terrible, awful, no good and very bad (yes, that's a children's book). On terrible days and awful runs I try to look for the good. I can't help it. Sure, I like to gripe and complain a lot especially for effect, but deep down I'm optimist as pure as they come. I came to the same conclusion today that I did at the end of that run a couple weeks ago. I am grateful.
I'm grateful that I am strong and healthy enough to run. When I first got involved with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society over 4 years ago, I had no personal connection to cause. At that point I'd only met one person who had a blood cancer and that was when I was a kid. And that's reason, I got involved. Because no doctor had ever had to look at me and tell me my child was sick. I have no idea how it feels to have to take my child for cancer treatments every week for 3 years (standard treatment for a boy with Leukemia). And for that I'm extremely grateful. When I want to give up on a crappy run or feel like this is the worst possible day (this one is particularly crappy), I remind myself that I'm lucky. And I continue to beg and plead with my friends to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, so that when a mom gets the unthinkable news that her child has cancer or when a coworker's mom gets diagnosed with a blood cancer I know that there's an organization fighting for a cure. Please join me in fighting for a cure by making a donation on my team in training page.