In the final weeks of training and tapering for the Chicago Marathon, I face another challenge—moving through life at home and work without others detecting my hyper focus. I call it “showing up” undistracted.
Coming across as a marathon maniac doesn’t look good on me. If I actually say my unharnessed thoughts about the upcoming marathon, others would lose large chunks of their days and go deep into my netherworld.
So I cover up my actual marathon thoughts with more ordinary, conversational chat and let the voices in my head ramble. What I’d like to say vs. what I actually say looks like this. Casual Interest
Inquiry: “Tom, you still running these days?”
Response: “Yeah, still getting out there most days.”
Inner Voice: “If you only knew each run is intentional and has a name like easy, long, tempo, pace, and is part of a plan. And when I’m not running, I’m recovering, which is training!"
Inquiry: “Do you have any races coming up?”
Response: “As a matter of fact, I’m running the Chicago Marathon next month.”
Inquiry: No response.
Inner Voice: "Did you hear me? It’s the Chicago Marathon, baby! The biggest, baddest day of running of the year for me! A weekend pilgrimage of marathon frenzy, the honeymoon of my summer and fall training. My Olympics!"
Inquiry: "That’s great. How do you hope to run?"
Response: "Oh, I’d like to run close to fill-in-the-blank with goal time.
Inquiry Follow-up: “Really? That’s great. Good luck. Hope you have a good time.”
Inner voice: “Thanks. If you only knew what’s involved in that. Means getting into shape after growing another year older. Means executing a strategy of resting, starting, pacing, and fueling my moving body. Means managing a vulnerable mind full of thoughts and emotions. It means returning to the scene of the crime whereI bonkedsome years.
Most Challenging Inquiry of All
Inquiry: “What outfit will you wear?”
Response: “Oh, I’ll wear shorts and a singlet or t-shirt, depending on the temperature.
Inner Voice: “Easy does it, Tom. She wants to know brands, styles, and colors. Don’t jump down her throat. Don't scream 'Guys don’t call them ‘ outfits!'”
Truthfully, I’m grateful for any level of interest from my friends, co-workers, and family. Along the line of inner voices— and aren’t most of our posts our inner voices? —there were many great posts out there this week.