Taper madness & a marathon pep talk with myself

First of all, I am blogging from here:

I want to stay here forever. Sleep here too.

Second of all, remember how I said “I’m ready to taper”? Well, problem: I don’t know how. I don’t know what to do this week! Well, it’s not that bad. I think I have a plan now seeing as I only have FOUR DAYS left before the marathon!!! My original plan was do part of the PI workout Tuesday (done), take off Wednesday (done), cross-train or something Thursday, six miles Friday, off or walk around and stretch or something Saturday, race Sunday. This differs from my normal week in that I would have normally done the whole PI workout, cross-trained on all or most off days, lifted, and ran one more day. After consulting with some coworkers, I might shorten the six miles and run about four Thursday also, or three Saturday. Or not shorten the six and still do that. Maybe two Saturday. What should I do? Please advise. Keep in mind that I usually run every other day, my legs felt very not rested yesterday, and I raced a mile last weekend so I did extra mileage Saturday and then ten on Sunday. Honestly, I think I will be fine whatever I choose, but I’m trying to pick whatever will avoid stiffness/tightness in my muscles on race day. I want to be ready to go. 

I am feeling confident. Here are the main reasons why…

1.) I’m not aiming to run a pace I haven’t covered for a lot of miles before. It sounds totally doable in my mind and not even scary, like the goal (which was a good goal that I ended up beating!) for the half. “It’s a long run. Just keep going.”

2.) I did my 20 miler on three hours of sleep, inadequate hydration, no dinner, no breakfast, a high-heel wound, hills, and my “time of the month.” Enough said. I hardly bonked. I just “got thirsty.” I’m pretty sure I’ve got this.

3.) I did my 18 miler (okay, 17.8!) in 77 degree, humid, and sunny weather, all by myself. Now, this was not the most mentally easy long run, but I got through it, and add crowds and hundreds of people to run with…I’ve got this.

4.) I’ve done a speed workout every single week besides post-half marathon since the second week of January. Even if my goal pace right now is a lot slower than all those miles I put in, and the race has no hills, there has got to be something stored in me now that will keep me rolling at a decent pace even when it gets rough.

5.) Any pain I feel during this race is not going to be worse than the pain, physically and emotionally, I felt during nine stress fractures, IT band syndrome, an iron deficiency, and numerous other times when parts of my body just didn’t feel right. There’s no way.

The course! I haven’t looked at it very closely…can’t decide if this is good or bad.

6.) When/if I am looking up the straight stretch of beachside road the second half of the race, and mentally fighting with myself to keep going, I’ll remember all the other times I kept going: coming back from all those injuries when running a mile was a glorious victory but followed by a sense of “will I ever get to five again? Seven? Ten?” When I finished every other race in my life I had doubts about in the middle. When I was in the library in college for five, seven, ten straight hours without food or breaks, just hammering through what I needed to do. When I almost gave up trying to find my aunt in Boston, exhausted and overwhelmed, but kept trying to find a way to communicate with her until we were in the car leaving the city. Every interval workout I thought I wouldn’t finish but easily did once I got past that mental barrier. When I cowbelled until I blistered for my running buddies who will swap roles with me for this race! I’ve got this.

7.) So many other people run marathons. I’ve been running and racing since I was fifteen. I work at a running store. I have a ridiculous amount of resources and I’ve used them all. To say I don’t know what I’m doing, even if it’s my first time, would be ridiculous. I know what to expect more than most people on that course, I would assume. I’ve got this.

The shirt!

8.) So many people doubted I could get here. I’m not doing this for them, I’m doing this for me, and I hope that it is just the first of many. But honestly, who doesn’t want the chance to say “told you so” merely in the form of a race result and finisher medal? That is the stuff I like. I’m a little dramatic sometimes.

9.) I’m concerned with things like, should I wear a visor or have Brennan give it to me later if I need it at the end because of the sun? Should I wear a shirt or just a sports bra? Should I carry one Gu or two? Instead of things like, Will my hip hold out? Will my foot start hurting? this in itself is a miracle, and honestly, the fact that I’m not concerned about how my body will hold up takes all the “bad fear” out of the equation and leaves just the “good fear.” That is, excited racing nerves I can’t get enough of.

10.) I’ve surpassed every goal I’ve set for myself this year (even if the goal was set mid-race…). That’s all.

Bring it on! 

Edit: I might as well write my goals here too.

A: sub-3:30

B: sub-3:35 (BQ)

C: Just finish it and not crawl. Though if you know me I’m just writing this as an obligatory first-marathon C goal, and this is not actually something I would be all that happy about. But you never know. I’d like to finish strong.

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7 thoughts on “Taper madness & a marathon pep talk with myself

  1. I believe in you!! Always have!

    Lemme know what’s up for Friday morning. I vote for running fewer miles rather than more, but I wasn’t privy to this convo at the store. And you know I’m happy to have things in hand to give you during the race. I’ll be easy to spot! 😉

  2. Working my way through the new nuunies…welcome to the nuun family, so jealous of everyone running HTC this year! But more importantly…good luck on your first marathon!! I’ll be there running a bit behind you, but enjoy this excellent weather we seem to be having and the flat course! Just don’t go out too fast (like I always do, oops…), and rock it!

  3. I can’t wait for your recap! When I ran in my first marathon (um… my only one so far – I have another one scheduled for October) I got all anxious about so many details it was crazy. It was almost like “cold feet” before a wedding!

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