5 Very WTF Emotional Stages of Registering For Your First Marathon
Moments after registration for the 2018 Chicago marathon opened, I verified my credit card information, joined the Girls on the Run charity running team, and clicked submit. I was in. It was still 11 months before race day, but I couldn't stand the thought of waiting to find out if I'd be chosen in the lottery. I'd promised to Girls on the Run that I'd raise the funds to join their team, and promised myself I'd run the miles to hit the finish line standing up. Almost instantly, I felt every conceivable emotion.
Am I capable of running 26.2 miles? What if I fail? How great would it be to cross the finish line, though? To dedicate my Summer to long runs along the bike trail, fighting the Summer humidity and bugs, I was going to need to start making sacrifices. Suddenly, everything I knew about running evaporated from my mind, and I felt like I had just decided to run my very first race.
The thing I was the most excited about and the most scared of was that I would be doing this alone. My friends and family would be along the race route and at the finish line, my running buddies would be with me on training runs from time to time, but ultimately, I was the only one in charge of whether I succeed or fail. When I'm running through a problem early in the morning, I'll be on my own to figure it out. When the alarm goes off at 5 a.m., no one will be there to make me get out of bed. No one's watching when I decide what to eat to best fuel my body. If I fail, it will be no one's fault but my own. I was excited to start right away, but terrified that I wouldn't have the mental stamina to get to the starting line.
This race is not my first race, but in many ways it will be even scarier. This is the first time I will have ever really tested my mental running capabilities. My legs and body will acclimate to the training plan, but will my mind? In those first few moments, it was my mind that was running a marathon — a marathon of emotions. Scroll through to run through the marathon of emotions I experienced when I hit "submit" and committed to a bucket list challenge!