I, however, do NOT feel ready.
Last night, I carbed up like I've never carbed up before. I'm embarrassed about the amount I ate at Souplantation, but let me just say that there were several blueberry muffins consumed, and that shit ain't no joke! I did, however, carb up on better things than last week, but I still woke up this morning feeling like a ton of brick. In addition, I woke up later than planned. Oh well, the day continued.
So, I went on my merry way with ambitions of completing my 20+ miler, with all the aspirations of running the entire way. I had my iPod loaded up with several very long podcasts from NPR (This American Life, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, and several Fresh Airs) and started out alright. I was thinking in my head, "YES! Blueberry muffins ARE good for you!" as I worked my way through my regular route.
Then, I made a turn to go on a route that I had added to get the mileage, which circled around a local botanical garden. This is where things went off-course, literally. I got lost. I should have known. The area is notorious for little tiny streets and curves and turns, and I have the worse sense of directions. I grew up around here, so I thought I knew the area, but driving around the place ( this IS LA) and walking/running around the place are very separate experiences. On top of getting lost, I was getting lost amongst hills after hills after hills. This was only supposed to be the first 4th of my route, and I was getting my ass KICKED! I could have definitely used a Garmin right around then, but I work in non-profit, and am a social worker, and had to settle with a watch with the straps that came off, which only had stop-watch functions.
By some divine intervention, I some how get back on course, but that detour really through me off and I had to stop and walk almost every 4-5 miles. I must have stopped about 3 times and walked for about 10 minutes each time. I feel really shitty about that. I was convinced that I would be able to complete the whole thing without stopping, but my ass, quads, calves, feet, everything was giving out. At around mile 18, I was SO close to turning around and going home. I was thinking, "What the fuck am I doing? This is so fucking hard, I can't fucking do this.." (Excuse the expletives, but you try running that amount without profanity.)
Then, all the podcasts ended, and music started kicking in. I've been doing my long runs with podcasts, because it used to do a really good job of distracting me. I don't know what it was about these podcasts... I could be that one was discussing symptoms of schizophrenia, and another one was about the Soloist, and none were really funny and upbeat as usual. The first song on my playlist after the podcasts happened to be Janet Jackson, and suddenly, I had the energy to finish this sucker. Janet sang, "It's alll for youuuuuuuuu," and "Come on get up" and other encouraging words, and I found myself mouthing the words. I was thinking, "Yes, Janet, Ms. Jackson, cause I am literally nasty (dripping in sweat and dust and dirt), I will fucking DO THIS." I finished the last 6-7 miles running the entire way, and it turned out great. Not only did Janet do her thang, but MIA popped on, and I ran faster and faster, or at least that's how I felt. (I should see how I run the last hour, because I actually must be running like I'm wearing diapers. I feel fast, but I'm sure I'm just waddling.) I finally finished, went UPSTAIRS to my apartment, and fell to the ground with a bottle of electrolyte enhanced water.
Phew. I'm still supercalifragilisticly nervous, but there's no turning back. I've scaled down my goal of finishing under 5 hours, to just completing the marathon. I'm not going to feel guilty about having to walk. I'm going to tackle it with all I've got.
There's only a couple of weeks left, so I'm going to slowly start scaling down my mileage. OOooohh, this bitch is goin to get CRAZY!