I think today’s fear is not unique to first time marathoners so it will probably pop up again.
I will get hurt.
I don’t know the statistics but putting your body through a marathon does damage. No matter how well you train, or how smart you are, you cannot out-train the damage done by running 26.2 miles.
I accept that the marathon is going to hurt.
I accept that I will be in pain.
But I am very afraid I will end up hurt. Ankles, knees, feet, shins, femurs, hips, lower back….any one, or more than one, could end up injured. I am very much afraid of that.
In a way, that fear serves a purpose because I will do everything I can to not injure myself. I will not push myself if something hurts more than the ache of running. I will slow down. I will walk.
Which brings me to Marathon Goal #2…
Do not compare myself to anyone.
I will not be one of those people who qualify for Boston on my first marathon.
If I run it in less than 4:30 hours I will be ecstatic.
But that doesn’t mean I’m not envious of the people who will. Social media makes this especially hard because it is so easy to fall into the comparison trap.
Every time I catch the green-eyed monster rearing its head when I see someone post their splits or that they won their age group, I take a breath and remind myself that I am my own runner and the only person I need to beat is the voice of doubt in my own head.
And that’s all it takes.