I was walking through Centennial Field with Ava on Saturday after my long run, when I walked past one of the gates to the field where a Yogi Berra quote was painted on the wall: “It ain’t over til it’s over.” The phrase struck me as particularly apt after a long run that went well just a few short days after considering scratching from VCM.
As I mentioned earlier this week, things did not feel good after last weekend. I was in pain, my stride was a mess and running 8 miles seemed difficult, let alone race 26. But after an amazing massage that moved out a ton of swelling and a great test run on Thursday, I found myself back and feeling good by our Saturday run. I was landing normally, driving my knees and generally feeling like my old self, which was a welcome relief after being in tears last Monday.
Yogi’s wisdom can also be applied to the marathon itself. As I said to the Rookie the other day when he asked about what to expect from race day, there are good miles and bad miles in a marathon. There will be moments when you actually think you can’t go on and then twenty minutes later, you think you could run forever.* A competitor may blow past you at 13 but fall apart at 21. The hardest part of the marathon for me is accepting this uncertainty. I have an impressive track record of unraveling myself if I have a bad mile. One of my goals for VCM is to try to stay mentally tough even when a mile (or 3) feels awful. Perhaps recalling Yogi’s words will help…
Happy Taper, everyone.
*For a hysterical interpretation of the marathon, watch this improv video.