I woke up this morning prepared to tell you how – despite all my training hiccups and anxieties and fears – I was finally excited for the marathon.
I was going to tell you how I ran eight well-rested miles Monday and felt like I was flying.
I was going to tell you how I entered the park this morning along the marathon route and saw the Conservatory had hung a giant “Welcome to Central Park!” banner, making my heart skip and my eyes tear up with emotion.
I was going to tell you how I received the most amazing brunch invitation in my inbox, which – despite not being able to attend but for a brief run by – makes me feel all warm and special and pancake-filled inside.
I was going to tell you all these things in what I expected to be an upbeat and optimistic and golden-doodle-filled post.
And then 10 a.m. hit, and I was suddenly harboring the most excruciating headache of my young adult life. A headache that hasn’t yet gone away. A headache accompanied with chills. A headache that brought me to my knees, or more accurately, to my company’s in-house nurse’s office, where they gave me a double-dose of Excedrin but no lollypop. And here I was thinking Obamacare meant more free lollypops. No wonder Ted Cruz was angry.
As the work day progressed and I felt worse and worse, this blog post started to evolve in my mind.
Instead of telling you how excited I was, I was going to tell you how I am afraid I’m getting sick, since I only get headaches from hangovers and colds, and this goal-oriented body hasn’t touched a drink all week.
And then instead of telling you how excited I was, I was going to tell you that a handful of coworkers went home sick this week, and that someone sneezed on me on the 4/5 train, and that my sick-looking boyfriend last night told me he “wasn’t sick,” he was just exhausted “from staying up coughing all night.” End quote.
And then instead of telling you how excited I was, I was going to tell you how my four months of training feel like a big waste and I should probably throw in the towel and give up now and not even pick up my bib number after work at the marathon expo.
I somehow managed to relegate that last thought to the back burner for about 30 seconds, or just long enough to hail a cab to the Javits Center, where I was funneled into a security line and then instructed to show ID and then pushed to the number check in before I even had time to think.
There, a lady gave me my bib number, four safety pins and the four words I’d apparently been needing to hear all day: “You’ve got this, Anne.”
And just in case I wasn’t going to take some stranger’s word for it, I came home to my mailbox 30 minutes later to find the most appropriately timed motivational card of my life from a very special friend whose favorite smell happens to be skunk and whose name both begins and ends with the letter Z.
So there we have it. I’m still feeling sick, and might be sicker tomorrow, and could feel even worse come race day. But you know what? I can also be excited. These two don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
What will be will be, but for tonight at least — I’m excited.
How are you managing these last few days? With less neuroticism than me? No? Oh good. That makes me feel so much better.