I chose to do my run today around noon. I wanted to remind myself that the longer I’m on that marathon course, the warmer it’s going to feel. My race starts at 8 am. My “shooting for the moon” goal is to break 4 hours. Race day temps look to be fairly good so far: high of 76 and a low of 48. Partly cloudy. Still warmer than I’d prefer by about 15 degrees, but I’ll take it.
The taper is a cruel master. You follow the rules and rest more, eat better, sleep well and right when you need to be reassured that you haven’t morphed back into your former couch potato self, you find that your energy is low, your drive not quite as sharp as it felt just a couple of weeks ago and you start to find doubt sneaking into your mind. You wonder if you’ve been set up – duped – into thinking that REST could make you faster, stronger – better! Having been through this cycle a few times now, I do know that usually the answer is that – yeah – it really does work – usually. But, mannnn do I hate this phase before the race. The anticipation is killing me. Can I do it? Do I have what it takes this year? Will I beat the marathon this round or will it beat me? I want to rise the victor this year — even if I stumble across the finish line gasping for air, clutching my sides and puke. Yeah, I want it that bad this time.
Pain is temporary. The pride is forever!
Today was my last short tempo run. I warmed up easily for a mile (before a race I always run 1/2 a mile or more super easy before the gun goes off so this part is never recorded in my races – even at marathon distance, which is good, since I seriously warm up at the speed of a turtle running in molasses.) After that, I relaxed and aimed for about a comfy 9:00 – 9:09 pace. Tried not to look at the watch much and just feel it out. It was hot. Bright and sunny and there was a lot of traffic. The first mile felt awkward like I was running with unfamiliar legs. The second, things started loosening up and I relaxed into the pace and just tried to cruise along. Didn’t push, held back. Ran near a college, along a canal path and through my neighborhood. I feel fairly good. Nervous, but good.
Mile 1: 10:21 (warm up)
Mile 2: 8:16
Mile 3: 8:54
Mile 4: 8:47
Last .11 – 8:00
One last thing: My period showed up this morning! Not great timing! Too late to think about it now. Just hope I can somehow run fast enough to avoid needing the bathroom the whole race!