1. Well, the sliver of sanity I had remaining in regards to the Chicago Marathon has all but disappeared. I am borderline hysterical and have been since Monday when my deepest fear in regards to the marathon came true: thunderstorms in the forecast.
The weather for October 13 has been on my mind literally since about 3:30 p.m. on February 19. There have been maybe, maybe, 10 times between February 19 and now where I have not, on more than one occasion, muttered a, “And please be with the weather on October 13,” prayer during the course of the day. This has been my #2 concern in regards to the marathon from the start (avoiding injury was my #1).
I’ve said before that I firmly believe I am meant to run the Chicago Marathon this year. While I do still believe that, I’m definitely a worst case scenario sort of daydreamer, and sometime in early September or late August, somewhat out of nowhere, my mind said, “What if it thunderstorms on marathon day and they cancel the race?” I immediately reassured myself that this was incredibly unlikely. Though it has rained on marathon day, I don’t think it’s ever stormed on marathon day, and besides, thunderstorms don’t often occur in the morning, nor are they as common in October as they are in, say, July (she said, oh-so conveniently forgetting the epic derecho of October 26, 2010 that drove her to skip class for the one and only time in her entire college career, while she set up camp in the basement of her college’s library and monitored the radar [and her thunderstorm-triggered anxiety], and that incredible storm of October 24, 2001 that blew down over 1,000 trees at the camp she has worked at for four years). AND, besides x2, it’s the freaking Chicago Marathon. They wouldn’t cancel the race for a thunderstorm. They’d probably just do the standard 20-to-30-minutes-from-the-last-heard-thunder delay. Right?
On Sunday night, while discussing the marathon with my roommates (and apologizing for past and future taper-induced behavior), the weather came up, and I must say, I was very level-headed about the whole situation. “Rain is fine,” I believe I said. “It’ll be annoying, and I really hope if it has to rain, that it rains through my finish, because running in wet clothes after the rain is way worse than running in the rain itself. And who knows? The forecast will probably change or be wrong anyway. It was supposed to rain today, but it didn’t. It is the one thing that not a single human being can control, so it’s not worth worrying about it. All that matters is that it doesn’t storm.”
Needless to say, when thunderstorms appeared in the forecast on Monday, I, in my already fragile mental and emotional state, TOTALLY LOST IT.
I’ve had no less than three major cry sessions over this. My please-be-with-the-weather prayers have been dialed up from “when I think about it” to “this would be the ideal time to take 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to heart and literally pray without ceasing.” My stress level is through the freaking roof. I am terrified, absolutely terrified, that I’m not going to be able to finish the Chicago Marathon, not because of poor training, poor nutrition, poor hydration, poor health, or just my own general idiocy, but because I’m going to get to Mile 22 in the middle of Freaking Nowheresville, Chicago, and a thunderstorm is going to come through, and they’re going to raise the EAS level from yellow (which, if the forecast stays the same, is where I anticipate it will be) to black, and the race will be cancelled, which has happened before (see: 2007. Though that was heat related, not storm related). Or delayed, which would be not quite as bad, but still pretty freaking bad, because holy SMOKES I do not want to stop running at mile 22, find shelter for 30 minutes to an hour, and then run 4.2 more miles.
Perhaps I’m being irrational (I don’t think I’m being irrational, but then again I’m probably not the best judge of that right now), but the thought of having my marathon taken away from me by my sworn mortal enemy, the thunderstorm, is horrifying. Ironically, it’s not the potential thunderstorms themselves that concern me–I am in a significantly better place in regards to my thunderstorm-triggered anxiety than I’ve ever been–but rather the idea there is even the slightest chance that these God-forsaken weather systems that have been the bane of my existence since I was six years old would be the thing that would make the entire past 18 weeks a waste of my time. I did not spend hundreds of dollars on training, gear, and medical advice, I did not get up at 5:10 nearly every Saturday for four and half months, I did not slog through 90 degrees and humid on the Trail, I did not give up my entire summer, I did not miss my own cousin’s wedding in September to have it all taken away by ill-timed weather. I know marathon training is about the journey, not the destination, blah blah blah, but the whole journey seems pretty damn pointless if you don’t even get to make it to your destination. I didn’t go through all of this to be able to say I’ve run 20 miles. I’ve gone through all of this to earn the title “marathoner.”
Fortunately, as of Wednesday, most forecasts were just calling for showers, WHICH I WILL EMBRACE WITH OPEN, RAIN SOAKED ARMS. I will take anything, literally anything, other than thunderstorms. Heat, humidity, high wins, blazing sun: sure. Throw it all at me. JUST. NO. STORMS.
2. Since this post is already too long, I’m going to cut this to two things and leave you with this:
I’m quitting my job to become a penguinologist effectively immediately.