Monday, January 4, 2010

Thank You, Debbie Downer

The other day at the gym I was almost done with my workout when a lady came up and stood on the treadmill next to me as if she wanted to talk to me.  I took out my headphones and paused the machine.  She introduced herself and I can't remember her name, but we'll call her Debbie.  I introduced myself and our conversation went something like this...

Debbie, "I see you running a lot.  Are you training for anything?"

Me, "Yep, I am running in the PF Chang Marathon."

Debbie, "I've run it 3 times.  This will be my 4th."

Me, "Really, wow.  How is it?  I guess you probably liked it if you keep doing it."

Debbie, "It's pretty good.  One year it was freezing cold and I didn't do so well.  But I don't expect it to be like that this year."

At this point I am thinking, "This girl seems nice... offering some knowledge from her experiences."

Debbie, "Have you done a marathon before?"

Me, "No.  I've done a half, but this is my first full marathon."

Debbie, "How do you think you'll do?  Do you have a goal?"

Me, "Well, if I base it on my half..."

Debbie, "Which you can't."

Me, "...then somewhere around 4 hours.  I'd like to keep my pace at about 10 minutes a mile."

Debbie, "Which you won't."

Me, "Oh, yeah.  Well, I know I'll be slower than my half for sure, but I think 10 minute miles is reasonable for me."

Debbie, "Well, unless you are some amazing superwoman runner, you won't."  Yep, that's what she said.

Now I'm thinking something like, "Wow.  Okay.  You can go away now.  And, by the way, I am an amazing superwoman runner!!!"

Me, "Okay...hmmm..."

Debbie, "Yeah, a marathon is nothing like a half marathon.  You'll feel like you're gonna die!  It's pretty close though, huh?  I have a 20 miler this weekend and then we taper down."

Me, "It is coming fast.  Mine is just 18 this week and another 18 next week, then I taper.  Well, good luck on your training and maybe I'll see you at the race."

Debbie, "Yeah, nice to meet you.  Bye!"

Now, I'm all for hearing advise from people who are experienced, but geez... Talk about a downer!  She could have tactfully said something like, "That's a serious goal for a first time marathoner, but remember, finishing is the ultimate goal, right?"  So she could get across the message that she thinks I might not really make my goal.  But, to flat out say I can't and won't, I'd say is pretty presumptuous.

Who is she to tell me what I can or can't do?!  And you know what?  I have to believe that I am amazing or else I wouldn't be able to finish!  This race is serious and unless I make my mind believe I can do it, I physically will not be able to.

I know I do not really know what a marathon is like, and I am expecting it to kick my butt, and I probably will feel like I am going to die by the end, but I feel like I am prepared.  At the time I ran the half, (13.1 miles) the most I had run by that point was 11.  Now I have run 19 and have followed the training schedule so I believe I will finish and meet my goal.  I think--and maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think so--that a half marathon is a little bit like a full marathon.  I see these equations in my head:

training for half marathon=successful half marathon
training for full marathon=successful full marathon

I mean, I've trained, mentally and physically for this race.  Even if I'm not ready, I have to believe I am or I have lost before I started.

I have experienced the amazing things your physical body can do when your mind believes it can.  This race will be another to add to the list.

Maybe afterwards I'll say that she was right and I was crazy for thinking I could make it around 4 hours.

But, probably not.


Thorne Family said...

What a downer!!! I can't believe she said that to you!!! Don't believe her!!! You will do great!!!! You should show her up and beat her!!!! Keep it up!!!

shirley elizabeth said...

You've got ten minute miles up the wazoo. I have faith in you. Just because SHE didn't make her first goals...

Zach "Sunshine" Anderson said...

Wow, what a bitchy thing to say. She's one of those "Confident Marathoners" that think she knows her stuff because she's ran Changs three times. You are going to do great. As long as you're smart the first half, you're going to do amazing. Don't even listen to her, marathons are different for everyone. The last six miles kills, you just have to be smart. And watch to pass Debbie as she's dying that last six miles.

Lacee Herbert said...

Ruthann, you are an amazing superwoman and you will do great! Way to go!!! I believe in you!

Ashlee said...

All's I can say is you go and prove her wrong. Then if you see her there you can rub it in her face.

The Bottjer Family said...

I know who you're talking about she practically "walks" when she's running for heaven's sake. You are an amazing superwoman momma runner and I totally think and know you can do it in 4 hours. I am cheering for you! Just think of how great it will be when you see her again and you can tell her you did it, maybe it will shut her up. Ha hah.

Brett and Emily said...

ugh Negative Nancy is no fun! you go girl and prove her wrong! seriously your an inspiration! not even kidding!

Megan said...

You are right- BELIEVING is everything. You have done everything in your power to meet your goals come raceday. Mind is definitely over matter when it comes to the marathon. Yes, it will hurt...but so did some of your training and you made it through that. Your mental game is the most important factor to your race experience. I know you'll do great! You've worked hard for this so go out and enjoy it! Plus, if I can do it in 4:23, I'm sure you can do it around 4- you were always more of a "runner" than me :)Good luck and I can't wait to hear all about it!


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