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Pre-Race Jitters

January 29, 2009

I can’t believe the time has finally come-6 months of non-stop training and it all comes down to this one day. Pressure much no? I can’t help but feel pressured going into the marathon on Sunday, but I know I put it on myself. 6 months ago, I just wanted to pick up running and run a few 10 K’s. I completed the Nike Human Race, Santa Monica 10 k and Long Beach Turkey Trot. After I checked those off my list, I wanted to compete in a half marathon to help me train for a full marathon. In December, I did the City of Angels Half (check). After that, my goal was just to finish a marathon, running/walking, it didn’t matter. But after watching my time improve on all my runs and races, I decided to ante up the goal and run the entire marathon. Then I got a crazy idea to go even further and run fast enough to qualify for the Boston marathon this year. I know it’s insane, but I really think I have a good shot at it. I have followed a training plan that has allowed me to peak this weekend. After hundreds of speed workouts, tempo runs, hill intervals, long distance runs, I have this weekend to prove that these past 6 months were worth the blood, sweat and tears (dramatic right?). So if you couldn’t tell, Sunday is a pretty big day for me. It will map out my racing schedule/training for the rest of the year. I am excited, but really nervous at the same time. I feel nauseous every time someone asks me about it, and I know I won’t be sleeping Saturday night either, so I plan on sleeping a lot Friday night and resting the majority of Saturday. I have to remember to just have fun. It is so simple, but difficult to do when I am trying for a time goal. I suppose if I didn’t care about the time, I would be less stressed out and enjoy the scenic path, walk through the aid stations, possibly chat it up with some runners and skip my way through to the end. Just kidding. Sunday will be a big challenge because through all my long runs, we have always taken a couple water/fuel break, but I don’t plan on taking any walking breaks during the actual marathon. I will probably slow down a little through the water stations to avoid choking on my shot blok or spilling water all over the volunteers, but I won’t actually stop and walk. I haven’t really modified my training plan this week (run 6, elliptical 5 miles everyday), even though I’m suppose to be tapering (my trainer thinks I’m resting the whole week). I will take it easy Friday (45 min elliptical) and run 2-3 miles Saturday just to warm up my legs.

I’m headed to the expo on Saturday to pick up race packet and snag a bunch of free goodies, so it will be a good chance to scope out the route and see if there is much of an incline or as flat as a pancake. I’m hoping for the latter, but sometimes when I run hills and then it flattens out, I feel like I am flying when it is flat because my legs are so used to running uphill.

Fortunately, as a runner, I can carbo load Friday and Saturday. I swear, just that is enough reason alone to run a marathon. Race is at 6:50am so I will probably get up around 3 to eat a substantial breakfast of oatmeal, banana and toast with peanut butter and down a sports drink. It is the worst feeling to be hungry on a long run, although there will be snacks along the course, but I’ll probably just stick to the sport drinks they are offering and my shot bloks. My strategy for Sunday is to break the 26.2 miles into sections so it doesn’t seem that bad. I think I would bonk out the first mile if I had 25 more miles to look forward to. I’m looking at the marathon as 24 miles, because I know once I hit 24, that will be the farthest I have ever gone before, and I will be in such a state of ecstasy after the 24 miles, that the last 2 miles will fly by (knock on wood). Every 7 miles I have my Clif shot blok to look forward to, which I love so much because it is just straight sugar with electrolytes. Mile 13 will be a big one half way there! Mile 19.5 I have the Leggers support station waiting with drinks and snacks and from there it is just a 10K left. 26 miles doesn’t seem all that bad right? Ha, I should keep telling myself that during the race when I start to feel like death and question why I am even running.

Over these past few months, I have received so much support and helpful advice from many different people, runners and non-runners alike. I am truly thankful for each person and their impact on my performance, and hopefully this Sunday I can let it all out. No holding back, I’m going to run with everything I have and ignore all the aches and pains that will come my way, because I know it will soon be over and I will have this great experience to remember. Mentally preparing myself is just as important as being physically ready, you have to visualize the end and the long road you have taken to get there. I know I have worked hard, and have never cheated myself short. This experience has been a definite learning curve for me, and has allowed me to meet some great people along the way. Most importantly, I have found a passion through running and this is only the beginning of my journey.
“When your legs stop running, run with all your heart”

Surf City, here I come!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Brennan permalink
    January 30, 2009 4:46 pm

    Two more days! The past 6 months of “blood, sweat, and tears” have taught me that you’re 1) one of the most motivated people I know, and 2) a little bit insane. Congratulations on coming so far, see you at the finish line!

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