With only two full days left standing between me and the 26.2 miles I'll be running in California, there are quite a few things that have the potential to keep me awake at night. So far, sleep hasn't been a problem, knock on wood, but here it is:
1) Many of the things I've read say that the pre-race week jitters will get to you. I haven't had much, if any, anxiety about the race, which in itself makes me anxious. I think this might be what they are talking about...I just remembered, in fact that I need to go pick up Gu and Shot Blocks for the race. So I think I can say I have the pre-race jitters, which makes me less anxious, but then I have to deal with those nerves. My mind is not a place you would want to be right now...
2) A Nor'easter (however it is spelled) is supposed to hit today and high winds are supposed to stick around through Saturday. My flight leaves from Boston tonight and naturally I'm concerned. If I can just get myself to San Francisco, which is all the way across the country, and completely in the hands of JetBlue airlines, then I can run those freaking 26.2 miles.
3) Will I get enough rest the day before the race? I will likely worry about getting enough rest, and worrying keeps rest away, and I find myself wishing that I had actually read the book Catch-22.
4) Blisters? Leg pain? Side cramp? General existence pain? Probably. That's okay. If I get those, it means that I made it to the race. It means that I'm in the race. It means that, barring any medical condition, I will finish the race. Because once I start, I'm not stopping unless I pass out, get struck by lightning, get struck by a car (I'll only stop then if it's really bad), etc. etc.
Thanks so much to everyone who has been following my blog! The updates have been sporadic, yes, but hopefully they've been entertaining.
Wish me luck and send energetic, caffeinated and carb-loaded thoughts my way on Sunday morning!!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
The schedule is pinned to my bulletin board on my desk, behind my computer. The daily running, cross training, and weekly mileage is marked, telling us when we should be training the hardest and when we should be taking a recovery run. On Saturday, September 25th, the chart said I was to run 20 miles, or 2.5 hours, whichever came first. 20 miles would be the longest distance I would run prior to the marathon, and with the pace that I run, it was more likely that I wouldn't even hit that.
I ran for 3 hours alongside my Team in Training teammate Nicole and a few of our mentors. There was no lull in attention, or intensity, and I didn't get at all bored. A really bad pop song was stuck in my head almost the whole time, but that didn't bother me. In those 3 hours, I ran 17.6 miles, and guess what--I felt great. Sure, my legs weren't the most comfortable they had ever been, but I had energy left and I could have gone further, had it not been for the time limit.
After that, I began to taper. I've been on taper mode for a little over a week now, and I gotta say, it's been nice to not have to worry about the upcoming long run. I ran a half marathon this past Sunday, as the end of a trilogy of half marathons I have done throughout the year, and dare I say, it felt easy. Of course this is in comparison to the 17.6 miles I ran the week before, and all that shows is that everything is relative.
The marathon is a little less than 2 weeks away, and I'm beyond excited to run 26.2 miles. It's going to be hard, especially if I have the bad luck of having a bad day. But I feel like I'm ready for the mental and physical challenge of the race.
At some point during the race, I know I will hit a point where I just don't want to run anymore. This happened during the 100 mile relay race, on my last leg, and it took 3 miles to deal with it and get over myself. I'm hoping that since I've experienced the fatigue and lethargy of exhaustion, I will know how to better handle myself when I hit this point. I have a race mantra in my head, and I'm anxious to see if it will help me get through the miles.
Until then, I just have to wait. Oh, and run approximately 20 more miles between now and then.