Sunday, April 19, 2015

Into the fire we go

In a little over 24 hours, I will be crossing the starting line of my 8th marathon and my fourth journey from Hopkinton to Boston. Per usual, the weather is not going to cooperate and there's going to be crazy cross/headwind and potentially rain. And you know what? As awful as that sounds, it's STILL a whole lot better than heat and/or blazing sunshine. I tend to excel in completely ridiculous conditions so tomorrow is just one more chance to run well in spite of the weather, not because of it.

I will say that because of the wind, giving any sort of value to the numbers on my watch probably isn't going to be a helpful strategy. I know that I am going to try to go out relaxed. I know that I am going to stay on the left side of the road (if the wind is coming from the right, as many people between me and it is a good thing, and I'm a terrible weaver so picking a side in advance is a good plan.) My goal for tomorrow is fairly simple: I want to run strong through the Newton hills. With that comes goal #2, which is to be mentally tough. To fight like I have all training cycle, and to not let the down times (which are pretty much inevitable) destroy me.

A few years back I discovered this song from the musical The Scarlet Pimpernel, and obviously being someone who relates EVERYTHING back to running, when I listened to the lyrics all I could think of was marathoning :

Into valleys, into waters, into jungles, into hell
Let us ride, let us ride home again with a story to tell
Into darkness, into danger, into storms that rip the night
Don't give in, don't give up, but give thanks for the glorious fight
You can tremble, you can fear it, but keep your fighting spirit alive, boys
Let the shiver of it sting you, fling into battle, spring to your feet, boys
Never hold back your step for a moment, never doubt that your courage will grow
Hold your head even higher and into the fire we go
Are there mountains that surround us? Are there walls that block the way?
Knock 'em down, strip 'em back boys, and forward and into the fray
Into terror, into valor, charge ahead, no, never turn
Yes it's into the fire we fly, and the devil will burn
Someone has to face the valley; rush in, we have to rally and win, boys
When the world is saying not to, by God, you know you've got to march on, boys
Never hold back your step for a moment, never doubt that your courage will grow
Hold your head even higher and into the fire we go!

During this training cycle, I've run in 40 mph wind gusts, over snow banks, on more packed snow and ice than I care to think about, on bitterly cold days, in the snow, ice pellets, and rain. Tomorrow is just one more day to brave the elements, and the type of day when you find out who you are. And so...into the fire we go yet again, to take on Mother Nature, the hills of Newton, and our inner demons. We are ready.

No comments: