Just a few weeks until race day!

Posted By Carla Neggers

May 7, 2018

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My next half-marathon is June 3rd and I am not ready! I get this feeling with writing sometimes, too. Weeks out from a deadline, I look at my work-in-progress and don’t see how I will be ready to turn it in. For most of us, running a half-marathon and writing a novel don’t happen in a matter of a week or two. We need time.

This is when I remind myself of the line from the Tao: “Let life ripen and fall, force is not the way at all.” Just show up every day and keep making progress. It’ll all work out.

But…there’s always my other motto: “Anxiety focuses the mind.” 🙂

This is the point when I know there’s no wiggle room, no margin, no time to skip runs or go off on creative tangents. I can’t delude myself into thinking there’s more time than there is. Panicking doesn’t help. Muscles seize up, the mind seizes up, the joy goes out of what I’m doing, and it just doesn’t work, at least not for me. Panic, though, is different, from the sharp focus and clarity that can come when one looks at the calendar and counts the days to the race or the deadline.

Race day and a deadline are commitments I take seriously, but sometimes we all run into unexpected headwinds. Today I look at these next few weeks and ask myself if I can safely and reasonably run 13.1 miles on June 3rd…and I believe I can, provided I don’t have any more setbacks. The past few days I’ve had a cold that forced me to rearrange my running schedule while I get past sniffling and hacking.

Last week it was traveling, but I was able to do some great runs in Ireland. One seven-mile run included two miles in a hail storm. The photos here are what it looked like just before (below) and after (above) the hail hit. Those tiny little ice pelts stung! On the other hand, it’s another running experience, and I had a warm bath and a cozy robe waiting for me in my hotel room. Writing in Ireland is a pleasure, too, but more on that another time.