Next Sunday is the Hiruzen Marathon in northern Okayama. My first ever competitive footrace, and I'm so nervous, I chewed off all my fingernails just in writing this. My concerns are not in my ability to finish (as often the case with amateur pre-race jitters), but rather in how fast. I want to place well enough to justify continued training for the possibility of a full marathon early next year. Furthermore, I need to prove to myself that I'm not better off in a rocking chair on some porch, screaming for the personal nurse to change my colostomy bag.
But have I trained hard enough? Have I sucked down enough raw eggs? Have I run up enough sets of stairs to warrent air-humping to Eye of the Tiger? The race is held every year on the same mountain (5k up, 5k down), so fair enough. I've been training on my commute route--which, if you remember, requires ascending a goddamn mountain every morning. I've done sprints, I've done stairs, I've ran quick 5k's, I've ran 5k's in sets, I've ran 10k's, and I've ran the 16k loop to and from the shrine every Sunday morning with the team for the last month. I've run backwards and forwards, with weights, and without, in the rain, and in the blazing sun. Sometimes even, backwards with weights in the rain.
My fastest 5 and 10k times are not total shit, but I'm still nervous. I'd rather not be ready, for readiness implies an acceptance that I have reached my limit--that I cannot possibly run any faster. The problem, is that I'm sure I still can. I'm just not certain how to tap into this measure of speed; a measure which I had always believed required first being chased by a shotgun-toting badger riding an angry bear.
Shit. How the hell am I going to legally acquire both a shotgun, and a bear in just a week?