The marathon is in 5 days.
I wrote an entire entry about the terror of the Unknown. Parts of it are still included here. The Unknown was something that had been overwhelming me to the point where I didn’t want to train, didn’t want to run or swim or stretch. I couldn’t even fathom how to write something positive. An Unknown fear had me in its grasp in the last few weeks and I didn’t know why. I still don’t know why and for some reason, I didn’t feel ready to post that entry over the last few days.
Yesterday after work, I got home and in my mailbox was my new running shirt. I love superheroes and antiheroes. I have a wee crush on Michael Rooker. I had a shirt custom made and I really wanted to wear it for the upcoming race. It was there for me yesterday, earlier than I expected in the mail.
Last night I was doing laundry and I found both my favourite pair of running socks and favourite sports bra.
My husband made an amazing dinner and popcorn later on. One of my relatives messaged me with a description of the weather conditions and suggestions on how to be prepared for the race.
The marathon is less than a week away. I’ve read that once you can do 75% of a distance, physically, you’re pretty much prepared for it. The rest is the mentally understanding that you can do it. I don’t know if this is true, but I like it so I will go with it. I’ve been training for months. I may not have been as on the ball every day for training, but I feel like I can make it through this race. I’m running this one to complete, not to compete. I’ve spent so much time travelling in my life, keeping mentally occupied for hours on end isn’t scary. It once took me 30 hours to get to Italy. I can manage a five-ish hour race.
If I have a seizure at the marathon, I have a seizure. I’m epileptic, that’s what happens sometimes. There will be more races to register for. I’ve had seizures before and during races in the past, so I’ve dealt with that. If it’s a couple days before the race, I’ll still give running a try. If it’s during the race, at least I started. I can only do what I can do, and the first step of doing something is trying. My epilepsy is not terrifying me.
So where does the terror come from? I DON’T KNOW. It is Unknown. That’s actually what makes it so terrifying. I’m not afraid physically. I’m not afraid mentally. I’m not afraid of a seizure, which is a combination of both.
This entry isn’t to get people to respond with “You’ll be great” or “Don’t worry”, because that would suggest I know why I’m terrified. I might be great, or I might be terrible, but that suggests a physical fear and that’s not what upsets me. “Worry” suggests that it’s the mental aspect and that’s not what is terrifying me either. There’s really not anything to say about being epileptic, because no amount of support is going to change whether I have a seizure or not.
I realize now that it’s not logic that is going to get me beyond my fear. It will be the little things in the few days leading up to this event that are going to remind me that I want to be doing this. This is what I’ve wanted for a long time. This is something I’ve worked towards. I’m going to have a fantastic shirt to wear; I’m not going to have to worry about wearing less-than-favourite socks, or a sports bra that I don’t love; I know to bring a windbreaker and gloves. These things and this knowledge all appeared when I needed them to be there.
So while that Unknown fear is still lurking there, I find that I have the motivation again to be excited about the race. I am fortunate to be able to do it. I am fortunate that I will be with family and friends and having the chance to experience something new for the very first time. Yes, the Unknown is terrifying. The Unknown is unexplainable. The Unknown nearly stopped me in my tracks.
Yet, the Unknown is just the Known waiting to happen.