October 18, 2013

Preparing for the Big Day

Well y'all, it's here. The marathon is on Sunday and we fly to San Francisco at noon tomorrow. All I've done for the past three days is eat, rest, and think about the race. I've read several articles that recommend not obsessing over the race, but I find that I can't really do anything but.

I thought this post would be nice to look back on later, for my thoughts pre-marathon. Right now, I just have no idea what to expect. This is probably how a lot of people feel as they never know exactly how they'll perform in the future... What I'm trying to say is that while my training went fairly well (I only skipped a couple of workouts, I completed all the distances I was supposed to, etc) I am halfway expecting something terrible to happen on Sunday that will severely compromise my ability to race effectively.

Right now I'm experiencing some lower back pain that I attribute to subbing two jazz classes on Thursday. The top of the arch of my foot was experiencing some pain on my last long run. My right knee has a tendency to give me some issues randomly. I haven't exactly figured out my nutrition and what is effective yet. I'll be in a new city with new foods and new restaurants that I'll be dining in the night before. I'll be sleeping on an air mattress.

All these factors are whirling around in my head, and my thoughts immediately go to the worst case scenario: that all of the above (back pain, knee pain, foot pain, stomach issues, food poisoning..) will happen at once the morning of the marathon and I'll have to slog through 26.2 miles. I also have this nagging feeling that, while it's true that I picked the option "Finish a Race" in the Nike werunsf Training App, I didn't run enough to feel confident to finish 26.2. A lot of running blogs I read, they run as many as three 20-mile training runs before tapering. I only ran one.

I've only been in 6 official races: 4 5K's and 2 half marathons. I've been through pre-race jitters and experienced going out too fast in the beginning and feeling it in the end. I've experienced hitting the wall at mile 10 of a half marathon. I've experienced hitting the wall at mile 16 of a 20 mile training run. But I have no concept of what 26.2 feels like. I have no idea what running one step longer than 20 miles feels like, much less running for an hour after finishing 20 miles.

I've heard to break it up mentally in your head: Two 10-milers and two 5K's. Three 8-milers and a 2.2. Whichever combination, all of them sound awful and long. But then I go and read about Bart Yasso running the Comrades marathon (approx. 56 miles) and the numerous other 100 mile ultramarathons... and 26.2 doesn't really sound that bad. It's entirely a mental game.

I spent tonight packing my racing gear, making sure I won't forget anything. I'm trying to turn my anxiety into excitement but it's difficult.

Don't think I forgot anything! Water bottle and Sunglasses are in my purse.

Some of my outfits for going out in San Francisco - we're staying through Monday!
I'm trying to look forward to hanging out with JW's friends, who we're staying with, after the marathon and basking in the post-marathon bliss that I've heard of. But I'm just so nervous about all the what-ifs! Agghh. This tapering week has been really hard to cope with, I think!

Overall I feel positive, but sitting here two nights before the marathon, hoping our flight will be on time and we get to the expo on time, all I feel is a bit of anxiety. Tomorrow I'll get up early and run 2 miles - hopefully that'll shake out some of my jitters!

Keep thinking good thoughts for me!!

1 comment:

  1. I'm excited for you! Put all of the doubts out of your mind. You'll be great! Treat it like any long run. I promise the crowds and adrenaline of having come so far will pull you through the hurt of the late miles. I wrote something recently about this:

    Enjoy and good luck!