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I'm not feeling it.  CIM is one week from today, and I'm not excited.  I'm 73% dreading it, 27% excited.

The excitement comes in little bursts when I feel like, "hey, I CAN pull out some awesome and run really well and get a PR!"

The dread comes from realizing, "oh yeah, I haven't had a decent long run in two months or more, my buttcrease/upper hamstring is retreating into its old angry self by the day, my confidence is slipping, and the last four miles of a marathon are mis-er-able."

I'm also dreading the likely chance that this will be 3+ hours of running, hard, in the rain.  Oh yuck.  Hoping the forecast becomes drier.

Have I ever mentioned before? That I hate marathons?

I don't really hate them.  I don't fear 26.2 miles--the miles themselves aren't the hard part.  It's trying to sustain a hard pace for 26.2 miles that I hate.

And of course I don't really hate that either.  I love the results.  I love being done and thinking, "shit, my legs can do stuff and my brain can handle painful things!"  I love the first 22 miles where the crowd is beautiful and entertaining and there is a buzz in the air.

But I hate being too sore for 3 days after a marathon to sit on a toilet without invoking all my arm strength to lower me (you know what I'm talking about).  It can't be healthy for your body to do something to it that results in being unable to walk down stairs for three days.  Right?  Can't be good.

I have to tell you.  After years of having a parent lecture to me that running is bad for you, and marathons are the WORST, I have become a little bit afraid of the marathon.  It can't be good.

This dread is just a mood.  If I were to wait a day, this post might be an ode to the marathon and how excited I am for it.

But my true ode to running is 20 mile-weekend runs, and 13.1 mile races, and waking up to crisp air and 10 miles before work.  Marathons can disappear and I would probably be a little relieved.

Maybe I should have realized this long before signing up for CIM? You think?

It is a love/hate relationship.  I will probably run at least 1 marathon each year for the foreseeable future, until I really become fully convinced it is too damaging a feat for this body.  There is always that craving to improve, and I could pin that on other races like the half-marathon, but it's just so tempting....especially since endurance is usually a strong suit for me, in comparison to raw speed... which makes the marathon and half-marathon a better race for me over shorter distances.

Anyway.  Right now I hate you, marathon, and I'm not particularly excited to see you next weekend.  I'm fed up with always standing at the starting line not sure if my most recent ailment will ruin me and force me to drop out.

This past week has included a little bit of speed work (two treadmill runs happened, 7 miles for one and 9 miles for the other, both at about an average 6:45 pace).

I seem to be accidentally tapering, due to buttcrease/leg-lock issues and due to Thanksgiving.  I understand that some people justify the big Thanksgiving meal by exercising an extra lot (always WAY more people running on Thanksgiving morning than normal...).  I take the occasion to double down in laziness, because eating a lot makes me want to sit a lot, or walk very slowly--not go for a run.  The week is closing out with 60-something miles.  Which we can call a taper since last week was 80+.

My family visited the Oakland zoo on Saturday, so that seven adults could stare at one 16-month old sweetie, who stared at just about everything but animals.

There is a tiger right in the middle, although it seems as though the reality with this picture, is that you will mostly be stuck staring at me

We got our first real Christmas tree on Black Friday.  A sweet little 3-footer, perfect for our apartment.

We own 6 ornaments and are building our collection at a rate of 1 per year,
Tree size scale.  It is about hip height on this laundry-folding girl

A walk through Christmas Past, with all of its fake trees:

Fake tree at my parents

First fake tree together in our apartment, 2008

Fake extreme excitement

Fake extreme anticipation 

Fake fake fake, on the left, middle, and right, respectively

Phony baloney in 2011

Pretending presents are lame in 2010

Faux tree 2011
You might be wondering how a girl with this (half Jewish) nose who has never read a bible could be so mad for Christmas.

I simply love Christmas and the holiday season.  When people complain that it comes earlier every year, I'm thinking--dude, let it be! I love to draw it out.  It IS the best time of the year.  Whether you find the mass consumerism ridiculous, or are 100% Jewish and have never had a Christmas tree, you can't deny that warm fuzzy family lovey feeling.

My birthday and anniversary with the Gentleman both fall within five days of Christmas, AND I celebrate Hannukah/Chanukah/Jhannuquah (silent J), so this is a loaded month for me.  I am giddy for every second of it.

And so, even if this marathon in 7 days is a disappointment and/or makes my body unhappy, I've still got December.

Does anyone else secretly hate the marathon? Love/hate it? 

How do you get pumped for a race you are sorta dreading?