I knew I was speaking too soon when I said that the taper crazies hadn’t set in yet. The last 48 hours have been a rollercoaster of emotion. Here’s a recap:
- Tues morning: Sent out an email to my sister and friends in DC/MD/VA about spectating at MCM. Wheeeee!
- Tues afternoon: MCM announces that the race might be canceled due to the government shutdown. An official decision will be posted Saturday.
- Tues late afternoon: Lots of denial, and posting on social media to express ALL THE FEELINGS.
- Tues evening: Start researching back-up marathons the week after MCM. Fortunately, there are 2 races within a 3 hour drive. Not the most exciting courses, but at least my training won’t be wasted.
- Wed morning: Head out for a tempo run, my last real workout of the MCM training cycle, with a heavy heart. “What’s the point?” I think.
- Wed morning, post-run: Get word from a friend that the Senate reached an agreement to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling. This makes me extremely relieved, but I won’t believe MCM is back on until the House passes the bill.
- Wed workday: Anxiously check (and re-check) the Washington Post “Shutdown” feed for updates. Happy to see that the bill will most likely pass and get signed by President Obama Wednesday night.
- Wed evening: Bill passed! Woohoo!
- Thurs morning: Wake-up with a sore throat. The Gypsy Runner came down with a cold on Monday, and despite our best efforts, it looks like I came down with it too. Fortunately, his cold has progressed rather rapidly and doesn’t seem very severe, so I hope my body responds the same way.
I started to feel like that old adage — “If it’s not one thing, it’s another.” But let’s not focus on the negative. On Tuesday night, I was listening to a Runner Academy podcast as I was folding laundry. The interviewee was Matt Elliott, a full-time teacher who stunned everyone by coming in 4th in the 1500 m final at this year’s National Championships. Late in the interview, he said something that really struck a chord: “Training is a blessing.” It got me thinking about how, even if MCM got cancelled, nothing can take away the last 16.5 weeks that I’ve dedicated to marathon training. I’ve learned so much about myself and how much I can achieve if I just go for it. Along the way, I’ve gone on fun runs with friends, experienced great races, explored new running paths, and even set a 10K PR. I’ve been fortunate to make it to taper without significant injuries. So, as bummed as I would have been if MCM got cancelled, there’s a lot to be grateful for just in the training. It also got me thinking about how we often take the training for granted, focusing only on race day. While races are great for motivation and goal setting, they are so small and fleeting compared to the work we put in day-in and day-out. So if I’ve learned one thing from all of this, it’s to be grateful for the everyday training. Bring on the taper crazies!