Monday, April 9, 2012

Stumble or Collapse

Someone who reads this blog said that some entries sound well thought out and others seem just like stream of conscious (oddly enough I typoed that as a scream of conscious). Well, let me tell anyone who reads this a secret, they've all been written in 20 minutes or less; there are just days my thoughts are clearer than others. But be warned this will be one of the more rambling ones.

I sit here and get contradictory advice a few days before Boston. The friend's house where I was staying fell apart since they had to move and so I'm scrambling to find a new one. I am both nervous and excited about this trip. I get told to be calm then someone else tells me to absorb the pressure and use it to fuel the fire. I listen to Augustuna's Boston which was the last song on the playlist last year where it was just about going to Boston but this year it's also that and "I think I'll go to Boston, where no one knows my name." I watch the weather report, not as cold as I'd like... I am nervous enough to where my sleep is disturbed most nights. I get told that it's just a race but that's not true...other races will be and others have been "just races" but this one isn't. I put off brain cancer surgery to get to this race, this one's a milestone.

While the playlist was theoretically locked down, I ended up changing two songs on it. They both replaced songs that were just for cheesy fun. I've had a few people tell me to take Boston as a victory lap but I don't know how to do that so I replaced Razzle Dazzle with Nickelback's "If Today was Your Last Day" since I collapased not too long after the last marathon, I am going to assume Boston is my last:

Against the grain should be a way of life
What's worth the prize is always worth the fight
Every second counts 'cause there's no second try
So live like you'll never live it twice
Don't take the free ride in your own life

And that's towards the end but I am also going to acknowledge that I'm nervous in the beginning since denial is at best stupid. I have to acknowledge that I am nervous about whether or not I can break three hours or getting a pr or finishing or whatever the results end up being, that I am scared both about this marathon and about how I live my life which is why DC's talks, What if I Stumble is on there:

What if I stumble, what if I fall?
What if I lose my step and I make fools of us all?
Will the love continue when my walk becomes a crawl?
What if I stumble and what if I fall?

That first Livestrong Marathon, the marathon I qualifed for Boston I had some competing thoughts but the ones that won out were the ones that I wanted this story to end with me going to Boston. The second Livestrong one I got a trophy at I was glad to be standing but disappointed in the time but also in the fact that I couldn't shake certain thoughts but still grateful for the Survivor Trophy with the title survivor being enough trophy.

I hadn't figured out how to dismiss the fears of collapsing in the middle of it since I physically collapsed a few days after the last one. So rather than try to pretend like I am not afraid, I just added Eminem's till I collapse and so around mile 24 if I'm on pace or much earlier if something went wrong and I'm walking:

Music is like magic there’s a certain feeling you get when you're real
And you spit and people are feeling your shit.
This is your moment and every single minute
you spend trying to hold onto it'cause you may never get it again.

Till the roof comes off, till the lights go out
Till my legs give out, can't shut my mouth
Till the smoke clears out and my high burn out
I'ma rip this shit till my bone collapse

I am nervous because that damn collapse didn't let me train how I wanted to between the Austin and Boston. At the Austin marathon, I put stickers on my bib of a lion and a lion cub to look at in dark moments but those were on my shorts which I don't look at much during races. This time, I'm bringing a sharpie to have Kiana write something on my hand that the GPS watch and the Livestrong band will be on (because that's the wrist I'll look like the most). On my right hand where the pace band and road ID band goes, there will be some things to think about, the communities, friends and families that helped carry me here

Today I received the first and saddest of the Livestrong vidoes that we worked on together Let's just acknowldge that the way I handled my marriage while dealing with cancer, perhaps long before that, and not getting a PR in Austin when I was in the best aerobic shape of my life were failures but perhaps I should echo the attitude someone recently sent me: “Don't be afraid to fail. Don't waste energy trying to cover up failure. Learn from your failures and go on to the next challenge. It's OK to fail. If you're not failing, you're not growing.”

Robyn, one of the girls from my running group got me the shirt attached above. The fact that they were incredibly kind when I fell in the middle of the run and that a few weeks later are making fun of me about it is one of the many reasons I love my running group. I hope Boston's my best time ever but if I pass out anywhere in it follow the directions on the shirt because unless I collapse there is no chance in hell that I'm failing to get across the finish line even if I have to crawl.

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