Holy crap, I’m running a marathon on Sunday. THIS SUNDAY.
Sub-4-or-bust attempt #2 is just a few days away. Right now that goal seems pretty impossible. And scary.
It’s funny how I can spend 18 weeks working toward this goal, and now I don’t feel ready. More than just my typical taper crazies, I’m scared. Scared of not finishing under four hours. Scared of completely falling apart. Scared of the pain. Scared of Eugene not meeting my expectations. Just plain scared.
Thanks goodness for these inspirational quotes; they make me feel totally normal for being a total headcase.
Part (but certainly not all) of the reason I’m scared is that I got sick this weekend with that stupid bug/virus thing I had in March. I’m feeling much better and I’m sure I’ll be fine by Sunday, but getting sick so close to the marathon is disconcerting.
I didn’t feel well for a couple days last week, but I didn’t acknowledge I was sick until after I ran a 15k on Saturday. When I signed up for the 15k, I had hoped it would leave me feeling confident and ready, but instead it just left me full of doubt.
My goal for the 15k was to run even marathon-paced splits to practice honing in on marathon pace. If you just look at my mile splits, you’d think I did a decent job of running even splits. I could have done better, but overall I’m happy with my even pacing.
(9:03, 8:55, 8:58, 8:56, 8:52, 8:49, 9:05, 9:00, 8:51, 7:38) *7:38 was for final .25.
Unfortunately, what my Garmin can’t tell you is that it took a lot of effort to run those paces. I was constantly staring at my Garmin and adjusting my pace to get right in the happy spot of 8:55-9:05. I blame this partly on the course: the constant curves and changes of direction made it difficult to just run and lock into my pace. The other issue was my breathing. My legs were fresh and marathon pace felt easy, but my breathing was way off.
I worked too hard to maintain what should have been an easy pace to run 9 miles, and I knew something was wrong as soon as I crossed the finish line. I ran a conservative race and by no means raced that race, so I should have felt fine after finishing. Instead, I had a bad headache, and I felt disoriented, exhausted and very weak.
I went home and rested/napped for over five hours. I had no energy and felt terrible – my entire body ached and I was so exhausted. Just like last time, the bug climaxed on Monday with painful stomach cramps and many trips to the bathroom. Not fun. I drank a lot of pepto on Monday — good thing I like how that stuff tastes!
Now that I’m just a few days away from Eugene, I need to get my head on straight. I need to stop letting myself be paralyzed by my fear and start believing in myself and my training.
When I compare this training cycle to my other four training cycles, I know I’m more prepared than I’ve ever been. My training plan didn’t go perfectly according to plan, but I logged 567 miles and 56 hours on my yoga mat. My legs and body are ready to go 26.2 miles, and the next few days are all about continuing to rest and making sure my head is ready to go as well.