MARATHON - three days away. zomg.

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. ;)
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    All of your training will be put to the test and will be well worth it! you will do AWESOME! Just stay hydrated and don't get caught up in other people's races. Run your race and you will be fine. Most importantly enjoy the experience. emoticon Can't wait to read all about it.
    2800 days ago
    I definitely care and can't wait to hear about your experience. Great Post and sounds like you are well prepared, physically and mentally. That's critical!! From what you wrote, you are being very smart and have a great plan to finish this race and enjoy the experience. Good for you!!

    Good Luck!! Look forward to hearing all about it.

    You will be a MARATHONER!! No matter what!! And that is something very special! Woohoo!!!

    2801 days ago
  • JLITT62
    Of COURSE we care! Can't wait to hear all about it.

    Good luck! Since it's your first marathon, you know it's a PR. Just remember to enjoy the experience! Now I personally think I would prefer needles in my eyes rather than to run 26.2 miles, but to each their own.

    2801 days ago
  • BUGSMOM211
    emoticon You will finish for sure.. Make sure you stay hydrated and drink water and gatorade throughout the next couple days..Get loaded up with electrolites!! Just finished my first marathon too, and I am so ready for another one..it was fabulous, enjoy the experience. emoticon emoticon Can't wait to hear about your experience.
    2801 days ago
    Holy smokes, I didn't realize this is your FIRST marathon! SO EXCITING!!! Cherish every minute of it - you'll never have this awesome, wonderful, humbling experience again!

    It sounds like you have your plan down pat! Just pace yourself and fuel well during the race and I promise, you'll have nothing to worry about. The end will likely be hard, but once you've made it that far, just keep telling yourself how close you are to marathon victory!!

    Have fun! Can't wait for your blog!

    2801 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/20/2010 2:29:36 PM
    You will ROCK your marathon, my friend! Hooray for having Aaron's support and photography prowess! You sound 110% prepared and ready. Remind yourself that you have your base built, and trust in the long training runs. I agree that having an imbedded stubborn streak is crucial in distance races, so that's another plus for you!! Looking forward to your race report. Run strong and steady!


    2801 days ago
    What a great read. Very inspirational. I'm "in training" myself right now and would like to run an HM this coming spring. I have a 10K next month. I'm shooting for a 50 minute finish on that. I cannot even begin to imagine 26.2 miles yet. I think you're understandably nervous, but you know how it goes, as soon as the starting gun fires, the butterflies disappear.

    Good luck! emoticon
    2801 days ago
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