An open letter to me: do not fear 26.2

Hey you,

Yeah, I’m talking to *you* over there. The girl who’s been talking the talk about this little thing called “your first marathon,” but hasn’t been walking the walk. As in — you’re letting fear and anxiety steal the joy right out of this journey towards 26.2. You are anxious, nervous, and stressed. And it shows. Um hello, meltdown city last week. Back-to-back headaches the past few days, too.

But why?

…because you’re secretly afraid of 26.2 miles. It’s downright freaking you out vs. fueling that fire in you (you KNOW it’s in there). You’re also far too stuck on that lovely spreadsheet of yours — the one with all the boxes for your miles, for your barre n9ne classes — both for teaching class and taking class…you’ve become fixated on making it perfect.

Well guess what? You aren’t perfect. You’re not supposed to be perfect. And in fact, I believe a certain blog friend of yours once told you to stop striving for perfection and to start striving for excellence instead. At that time, you adored that advice and started to heed it right away.

…so why are you straying from that mantra now?

Because, once again — you’re allowing your mind to trick you into thinking you can’t do this. That you can’t possibly face down 26.2 miles and run it like a champ. But guess what? You *can.* You just have to get back to believing in yourself.

…and the best way to do that? Get back to basics. Stop looking at your training plan as well, a ‘training plan’ and start looking at each run as just that: a run. Something that up until recently, you adored. Stop letting anxiety and fear steal your joy in these runs. Embrace every single mile, particularly those long runs you’re gearing yourself up for in the next few weeks. The long runs that will push you into new PDR territory. Those very same long runs that will give you the confidence that your body can and will push through all 26.2 miles on October 7.

And remember: you are strong. You are fit. You are ready. And most of all? You are a joyful runner.
…don’t ever forget that last one. It’s the key to this entire thing.