I am writing this the night before the start of my Birthday Challenge Weekend! I'm running 31 miles (22 Saturday & 9 Sunday) on my birthday weekend where I turn 31 (actual birthday is Monday).
I was so excited for this idea but once I put it out there, it brought to the surface some different unexpected feelings all week.
In 3rd grade I believe, after being a shy kid who didn't have many friends, I made a play for popularity by declaring that I was going to have a skate party and invite all the kids in my class for my birthday that year. Everyone was so into roller skating at that time. Well, of course everyone came. I was thrilled. Until I realized I was the only one who couldn't skate! I hadn't really thought that one through! It was my party and I did cry because I wanted to. All of a sudden, I was the odd one out... again.
This is a big challenge for me. My first ever 22 miler, my biggest week of mileage ever (should finish with 40), and trying to do 9 the day after my first ever 22 miler! And it wouldn't be a challenge if there wasn't a chance I could fail.
So I keep fighting this fear that everyone will be these joyously strong runners and THIS will be the weekend that my body is made of sludge. Or even worse, one of those haphazard runs where my stomach becomes my worst enemy with GI problems.
Then I reflect to the fact that the fear comes from this skate party. And I smile at the difference. These people coming to run with me this weekend ARE MY FRIENDS. They will support me whether I complete it or not, whether I finish strongly or begging for my momma, whether I'm fast or slow. They're happy to celebrate my birthday and enjoy the sport we love with me this weekend.
So I banish the fear! And welcome celebrating these friendships I've created. Because honey, this ain't no skate party!