Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Soooo... my first marathon is in three days (2 days, 22 hours, if we're being precise).
I am TERRIFIED. I've been working very hard and I've dealt with not one but TWO injuries during the training process. About 7 weeks ago I was waylaid with a possible (mild) stress fracture in my foot. I took off three weeks to heal - which was absolute torture, btw - and came back on my training schedule in the three week pre-race, post-peak taper mileage. Luckily, before the injury, I got in my longest training runs. I did 17, 18, 19, 20 mile long runs. So, that's good. More recently I developed what felt like a shin splint. Luckily it seems to have resolved itself with slower runs and the use of good quality compression racing socks. Fingers crossed.
Since I've been back running, the longest I've run is 11 miles. I did race a 10K (6.2) miler and PR'd it with a really great time. So, that helped my confidence. Still, I had to ease back into running due to the foot issue and then I had to stay eased off so I didn't burn out my muscles, etc. and blow the taper. So, honestly, I have no idea how I'm going to do with 26.2 miles. I do know I'm stubborn as hell, though. Which is important for distance running. ;)
I've done the real work. I cranked my mileage up and I got my body used to the pounding of 4+ hours of running on my 18-20 milers. Now it's all about guts and smart pacing. My usual race pace for short races is around 8:30 min miles. My half marathon personal record is 2:07 and my 10 miler is 1:31. So, I usually run 9-10 min miles at those mid range races. Pace for marathon? 11:40ish. I'm running with the 5 hour pacer group and I'm NOT going to let myself rush my early miles. That will mean the final miles will be a hellish death march. They might be a hellish death march at a slower pace, even, so if I've got nothing left in the tank they'll be that much worse. Run smart, Melissa, dammit.
Tonight I'm packing my bags, pre-race snacks, race gear, etc. Pack my post-race finish line bag with warm clothes, stuff to mop off with and recovery food. Today is my last day of cross training, too. Thursday and Friday I'm staying off the bike and off my feet as much as I can. Eating lots of carbs (something starchy at every meal - bread, pasta, etc.) and trying to get better sleep and enough water. Two days before the marathon is where you need to sleep and to start the real carb loading since that's the fuel your body will be using most.
Then tomorrow I can look my bag over and see if I've forgotten anything.
We leave for Mankato on Friday afternoon. Going to hit the expo, get my chip and bib, look around a little bit then go to the hotel and stay off my feet. Order in a cheeseless veggie heavy Papa John's pizza (carbs!) and get a good nights rest. Race starts at 8 am on Saturday.
Okay. I sort of want to vomit from excitement and nerves.
I can't believe I'm doing this. But I am. And I WILL. I will finish this race. If I have to walk some, I walk some. If I have to crawl, I crawl. But I will get it done. And I will cross that line smiling and proud. Wish me luck!
Aaron is coming with me and he'll be in charge of pictures. I'll do a race report once I'm back and feeling up to it, for anyone who cares. ;)