As mentioned in my most recent post, it is tradition that I journal before each race. This race, I feel nervous, optimistic, somewhat confident, anxious and eager. Basically, I am Sybil.
Earlier this week, my mom called me a pro in marathons, and I countered by saying I am seasoned. This is #12 which means I know what to expect. I know when it will get hard and I know that the finish line is worth the struggle. While some runners are worried about the cold and wind, I have actually done this exact race in both of those elements. I know how to fuel, hydrate and dress. This isn’t about the science anymore – I have got that down. This is all about my attitude.
Choose your attitude – one of my personal core values. And I choose to be positive.
My best two races were London (2011) and Illinois (2012) and both had one major component in common: I had a positive attitude. I remember during London, at mile 22, I thought about being the obnoxious runner that screamed, “Only 4 more miles left guys!” And at Illinois, I didn’t let the demons in until mile 23 when the wind sparked up. Tomorrow is all about attitude – being positive, not allowing the negative thoughts in and trusting my training (as well as my coach who will be by my side).
There is nothing I can do to further prepare myself. I felt super confident about my endurance about a month ago, and then I traveled every week/weekend and some of the long runs fell off. At this point, I can’t change that and have to hope that the 3-20 mile runs I did were enough to keep me moving long after that. In contrast, I AM super confident in my speed training – I had never done it consistently before, but this season, I was dedicated. Sometimes twice a week with Crossfit Endurance as well as my morning sessions with Adam, Kelly, Jess and Chad. As a result, I know I am faster than I have been in the past. Finally, to keep the legs warm, I have had a relatively easy week including lots and lots of water, an easy run on Monday, speed training on Tuesday and an basic 3-miler yesterday.
JD and I talked strategy yesterday on our 3-miler and we seem to be in agreement. He is never allowed to ask “How are you doing?” because I am scared it will open up Pandora’s box. He is allowed to remind me how many people will be disappointed if I don’t hit my goal (which may or may not be true, but as a competitor, this strategy will work on motivating me). We will talk only as it relates to strategy but not waste energy in conversation. We will start off conservatively and vacillate in pace throughout. When we get to mile 23, we give it all we’ve got. That last burst down Meridian will be hard and long, but it will be the final stretch to cheers, hugs, dry and warm sweatshirts and margaritas.
What we don’t agree on is my goal. My last PR was 4:15:01 in 2012, which is a 9:44/mile pace. I have been training for a 4:10 marathon which is a 9:30/mile pace. JD thinks I can pull out a 4:05 which is a 9:20/mile pace. Honestly, if I get a 4:14, I’ll be damn happy with even a slight PR. But my goal is 4:10.
I don’t know if I can do it. It seems reasonable – the speed is there. But is the endurance at that speed? Saturday is the test. I haven’t raced a marathon in a long time so no matter the outcome, this will be a good day. You’ll definitely hear from me in great detail when it’s all said and done. And despite my goals, no matter what, running 26.2 miles is something to be proud of. When I wake up on Sunday, unable to rollover in bed to watch the NYC Marathon on TV, I’ll drape that medal around my neck and be happy regardless. I just hope it’s 4 hours and ten minutes of happy.
MASSIVE thanks to the cheerleaders that will be out there – I know our neighborhood will be in full force as we run right through it at mile 6. And my friends, Jake, Meghan, Cindy, JR, Brendan, Lauren, Jenny, Dawn, Dan and Travis have planned a day of cheering and day-drinking. The fact that our friends want to be out in the freezing cold to catch a glimpse of us running by means everything. I can never articulate how incredible it is to know friends are waiting – it’s such a boost of energy and helps break up the distance. #blessed
Best of luck to all the runners out there: Amy, Adam, Jess, Chad, Martha (NYC!) doing the full. Lilly doing the half. And all those I have forgotten. Let’s freeze our bums off together and get it done.
First half with your head. Second half with your heart.