Some women nest while they’re pregnant. Others (or maybe perhaps just me), nest pre-marathon. Really.
Yesterday I cleaned two bathrooms, the kitchen, did a massive amount of laundry and pretended to be a talking turtle for about an hour. Ok, maybe that last one did not actually have anything to do with cleaning, but my 4 year old was thrilled and it served its purpose of taking my mind off the marathon so I thought I’d mention it.
Best I can figure, the nesting instinct has taken hold for two reasons. Numero uno, I can’t sleep. So the idea here is that if I clean all day, I’ll be exhausted at night and will be powerless against the heaviness of my drowsy eyelids no matter how cluttered my mind is with all thoughts running. And last night, I gotta say, it worked…kind of. Instead of going to bed at 10:00PM and laying there wide awake until 2:00AM tossing, turning and planning my race. I fell asleep sometime around midnight. Still not ideal, but a substantial improvement nonetheless. With a 6:30-7:00 AM wake up call all week, I’ll take it.
And reason number two, which is perhaps far more compelling: I just can not fathom coming home from a 26.2 mile race to a mess of a house that I will of course be forced to live with, because I won’t have the energy to rectify. (What can I say? I like my ice baths in a clean tub.)
So that’s about where I’m at, made oh so much easier by the fact the my 4 year old decided (on her own, I swear.) that yesterday (and today actually) should be cleaning days. She “really really really” wanted to clean my bathroom. Despite my “really really really” wanting to take a nap (remember the whole lack of sleeping for the previous 2 nights), I figured this is probably an instinct in her that I’d do well to nurture. So I gave in and let her help me.
Surprisingly, she so enjoyed the task I gave her of cleaning toilets (not really, it was mostly wiping things dry after I cleaned them, although she did ask and I may or may not have been tempted to oblige)that she was singing and whistling the whole time which actually made the whole ordeal somewhat enjoyable for me too.
And being the supremely wise mommy that I am, I capitalized on the opportunity which had materialized. “You know honey,” I told her. “One day when you get bigger, if you’re really good, I’ll let you clean the whole bathroom all by yourself!” (Good is a relative term btw). **GASP** “Yeah!” she replied excitedly.
I feel obligated to mention at this point that, she does not get this urge to clean from my side of the family. Since I’m on foreign territory here, you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be treading very carefully, so as not to ruin the fun of her new found hobby and my quickly developing devious new plan for household chores ;-).
So that’s what I’ve been doing. Well, that and reviewing my last few long runs on the Daily Mile (online social training log if you’ve never heard of it), where I’m pleased to report that I’ve discovered I’m not nearly as fast as I think I am. Somehow my memory was slightly skewed on how quickly I ran those long runs.
But don’t worry, I’m not upset or disappointed at this revelation. It’s actually helped relieve some of the pre-race jitters. It might have even been a factor in my being able to get to sleep a little easier last night.
You see, I’d been upping the ante on my goal finishing time based on my incorrectly remembered long run times. Now having gone back through and looked at everything again, I realize I was being overly ambitious and it’d probably be a good idea to stick with that 4:30 marathon goal time that I set, oh about 3 years ago, that has of yet eluded me. It’s what I’ve trained for. It’s where I’m at. If all things are going super swimmingly, I’ll up the pace at the end, but not until I’ve made it through that last section of hills (those dirty dastardly hills).
But there’s no sense in blowing the goal that I’ve trained for to pursue an overly ambitious goal that I’ve just recently realized might be possible for me. (Thanks to my husband for that helpful bit of advice).
There’s other races on other days and I’ll reach those other goals, when I’ve trained for them. For now, I’m going to stick with the program I started, despite the intensely difficult task of suppressing my inner competitor. I’ll run the race I’ve trained for and enjoy the day. I mean what’s 4 hours of running if you don’t enjoy it right?
So nah, I’m not really that nervous anymore…but if you need me, chances are, I’ll probably be cleaning something.
P.S. Just found out an old high school friend will be running the Chicago Marathon this fall to raise money and awareness for the Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood Foundation. AHC is a rare neurological disorder in which repeated attacks of hemiplegia occur (paralysis of the body, don’t worry I didn’t know either). According to the AHC Foundation’s website, children who have this disorder may also exhibit a number of other symptoms in addition to hemiplegia including: lack of muscle tone, stiffening of extremities, eye disorders, developmental delays, mental retardation, and/or seizures. There is no known cause and no known cure.
So now I’m about to ask a favor. Brace yourself. Could you lend my friend, Kristy, and these little sweethearts a hand? You don’t have to do much. You could follow Kristy on her running journey at her blog www.marathon4del.com. Maybe leave her some words of encouragement on her last blog post here. Or perhaps make mention of the AHC Foundation or Kristy’s blog on your website, Facebook Page or Twitter. Or if you feel so compelled, maybe even make a contribution to her fundraising efforts on her site. Remember every little bit helps!
P.P.S. Hmmmmm…trying to figure out how to type the Chica Bands song I’ve made up in order to entice you to enter my giveaway. But I’m at a loss. It’s a good one though. Woo! If you could hear it you’d be so impressed with my musical stylings and I can say that with full confidence from this side of my computer screen. Ah well, the good news is you can enter the contest even without the song. Here’s the link.