Boston Marathon is just 5 DAYS AWAY! It’s the final countdownnnn! (Cue music.) I woke up like a giddy school girl and immediately checked the 5 day weather forecast in Boston. (It’s looking good!) I’ve received my Runner Passport, bib number (17397), wave assignment (Wave 2, Corral 9, 10:25am EST), read the Mile-By-Mile Guide to The Boston Marathon, and received all necessary information to make it to the starting line on April 21st. I am ready to run my heart out!
My foot is doing sooo much better thanks to my new custom orthotics, so I’ve been able to get back to my regular training plan with Coach Beth. (YAY!) Sure things still popped up that have made my marathon training less than ideal, like business trips to Mexico & Chile, but it turns out I had very similar challenges last year with a bum foot and a busy schedule. (And I got to go to Mexico & Chile this year! Exciting, right?!) I went into my Training Peaks file and read my comments from March-April 2013 when I was training for Eugene Marathon, and it was like deja vu. “Experienced foot pain today.” “Struggled to hit my paces on this tempo run.” “Tired from all the travel.” “Felt great today!” “Ran 6 miles at my marathon goal pace and nailed them!” It was pretty encouraging to see how much my training fluctuated even during preparation for my fastest marathon to date. Life happens!
This training cycle, I’ve been sidelined for 5 weeks with an injury, run some great runs (6’52/mile pace on my 1,000s), and some not-so-great runs (8:30/mile pace on a failed “tempo” run), but that’s how marathon training goes. I’m coming to terms with the fact that it’s OK not to be fast alll the time. Consistency is something that I’m continuing to work on as a runner and I know it will come with time and practice. 3 years ago, I thought running a 9:00 min/mile was really fast, and today I think a 7:00 min/mile is fast. It’s all relative.
I’m SO EXCITED I could puke, and my last month of training has been encouraging. There is nothing more gratifying than finishing a long run completely spent, knowing you gave it your all. Two weekends ago, I had a LR with Nicole that included 10 miles at marathon pace. (Ouch!) My target was 8-8:10 min/mile, but I only hit that a few miles. I was much slower uphill, and melted down the last 2 miles. Did I let it get to me? Nope. I was running my ass off, pushing as hard as I could on tired legs, and spending time with my BFF Nicole. Last weekend during my taper, I ran 11 miles, 3 of them at Marathon Pace, and NAILED THEM. Nicole was with me again, and it was the perfect last long run to send me off to Boston. Ups and downs!
When I start to visualize the race, or read articles about the Boston Marathon, I get emotional. Boston Marathon coverage is seriously everywhere you look, and I’ve been obsessed with reading articles, watching videos, and looking at pics. I’m a very anxious person in general, so before a race, I can really work myself up. I’m trying to stay calm, focused, and positive. I will probably cry happy tears before, during, or after the marathon, but I hope I can hold it together until I cross the finish line. This is going to be an emotional race for the city of Boston.
Over 10 of my family members are coming to support me, and we’re all staying at my Nana’s place in Boston. Family support means the world to me. I am seriously pumped! I wish I had a running buddy by my side, but I plan to make friends with strangers on race day. After all, we all have 1 very big thing in common. (We’re running BOSTON!)
In a nutshell, I’m going to start off at 8:00 min/mile, hold on as long as I can, and see what happens. :) While I typically run to get a personal best, I am here. At Boston. I’ve already achieved my goal of a Boston qualifying time, so technically the pressure is off to get that sub 3:35 BQ again. I want to find a balance between running my ass off and enjoying this historic race. Even if I’m in the pain cave or off my goal pace, I need to remember to open my eyes, look up away from my watch, and take it all in. Boston Marathon is a reward for all the training and hard work, and this year is going to be a year unlike any other. There has been a lot of build up and anticipation for the 2014 event, and I am honored and grateful to be a part of it.
I leave for Boston tomorrow, so tonight I will be putting the final tweaks on my marathon playlist and packing for the weekend ahead. 5 more days of taper and then it’s GO TIME!
Competitor Magazine sums up race week beautifully: “…in the end, remember that surviving race week comes down to trusting your training. Running the race itself is just a reward for all the hard work you’ve put in since you decided to sign up for this event many months ago. Don’t let those deceiving doubts take away from the enjoyment of the experience. Develop a pre-race plan, stick to it and have the confidence that you’re ready to run your best on race day.”
What’s your biggest piece of advice for race week?