I don’t even know where to begin this post…I’ve started and restarted writing it at least a half a dozen times over the last few days. Race Day is
just around the corner scratch that. It took me so long to get this out that Race Day is TOMORROW!!!!!!! So that means it’s time to look back on my training aaaaaaaaaand lay some goals out there. I have SO many thoughts that I want to say, but just can’t seem to make them flow. So…you get what you get. Would you expect anything less from me? Didn’t think so.
I’m just going to jump right in and say: This training cycle wasn’t entirely what I hoped it would be. Things were going REALLY well. I was hitting my workouts, strength training twice a week (I know, right?! Who am I??) , doing speed work in the middle of my long runs. I ran two-a-days, for god’s sake (Ok, once)!! I had a massive PR practically on a golden platter for me. THEN. Right as I was gearing up for Peak Week, I was forced to back off my training just when I should have been ramping up. THAT was a huge blow to my confidence. I was hit with an almost crippling fatigue that I, at first, thought it was just because training was picking up, but then realized it was more serious than that.
Speed days were gone, my weights are collecting dust in the basement, and there was a point in time where I seriously considered either dropping down to the half or bailing completely. I’m glad I didn’t, but the thought was there. I pushed through, and my first 20 mile training run was pretty good; the second, I wanted to try as a progression run but instead had to fight for every step due to my fatigue, and the last was a disaster during the course preview. I found out that I had some wicked low iron/B12 levels; luckily that was easily corrected by supplements. There were a few more issues that were kind of scary and required a lot more testing but it all seems to be worked out now. Instead of heading into the taper KNOWING that I’ve got this, I spent a good bit of it wondering if I was ready. I feel really bad for Jen, but at the same time am hugely grateful because she has been listening to me spaz about my worries all.week.long. and constantly reassuring me that I’m going to be fine. She’s talked me off the ledge at least twice a day, every day this week and 3 or 4 times yesterday. My biggest concern is that it’s going to be warmer tomorrow than it’s been in ages, but her response was absolutely right: weather is always something you will have to contend with.
2 years ago I said that I would NEVER run the Pittsburgh Marathon. It was “too hard” for me; too many hills. If that isn’t enough, being one of the lunatics running around North Park in the single digit temps, with snow, and ice was not an attractive prospect.
There would probably be a lot of mornings and evenings that I would have to run on the treadmill (barf), because my roads/cemetery wouldn’t be clear and the list went on. At some point, I realized those were B.S. excuses and that I AM more than capable of training for and running this course. So, I signed up and yes, I was one of those lunatics running around North Park in sub zero weather, and yes, I logged a good bit of my weekday miles on the treadmill during much of January and February.
And, you know what? It wasn’t so bad! I looked at the treadmill runs as “mental” training, and all of those Rocky Balboa style outdoor runs as “resistance” training. I’ve been using Kim’s description of the course for this entire 16 weeks to help me prepare for and visualize the course, but especially this week. It’s practically been like my nighttime story book, as I go over each and every mile; as I’m falling asleep I try to visualize the race course and picture myself cruising along, owning the climb into Oakland and sailing down Liberty towards the finish. I’ve even watched the high speed video of the course to help me become a little more familiar with the 2nd half of the race. To top it all of, I’ll also be watching Spirit of the Marathon just for a little extra boost of inspiration.
I have to say though, despite all of my worries and concerns (*cough* weather *cough*), regardless of the time on the clock when I cross that finish line, I am already incredibly happy with what I’ve done so far. As Jen put it yesterday – THIS is my victory lap.
SO. Now. Goals. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh boy. Putting these numbers now there scare me. I always have a few “levels” of goals, just to give me different something to focus on in case things don’t go as planned.
(A) Finish in 4:50 or better.
(B) Break 5:00 Hours
(C ) Beat my previous time of 5:23
“When you cross that finish line, no matter how slow, no matter how fast…it will change your life forever” – Dick Beardsley
Good luck to EVERYONE running the 5K, the half, and of course, the full!! And THANK YOU to all of my blog buddies and friends for the constant encouragement, support and motivation!! I ❤ you guys and am so grateful to have found such an awesome group of people!!!