Two more sleeps. Or should I say, one more sleep and one try to sleep!
Honestly, I am having a hard time putting my thoughts together. I cannot believe this weekend is finally here. I know I have prepared- it hasn’t been the most ideal training cycle, but it was my training cycle. The long runs are done, taper is in full force…now, all I have to do is get to Sunday. In 48 hours from now I will have already started my marathon.
A lot of people have asked me what my goals are…what my plan is…how my race looks when I visualize it. I do have goals, but they are simple. I definitely have a plan but it’s mostly logistics so that I can see my family and friends. And I have been visualizing this run for weeks now every night before I go to bed, and sometimes randomly throughout the day. Yet, I still find it tough to verbalize how I am feeling when it comes to all of this.
But, I’ll do my best.
The pre-race plan: My routine every night this week has been to eat a good dinner, take an Epsom salt bath, elevate/ice legs while drinking tea and try to sleep as well as possible. I still haven’t managed enough hours a night, but I have gotten in more than usual and have slept great all week. Tonight, I am hoping for 10 hours. Tomorrow morning my parents will meet up with R2 and I at my house and after a good breakfast we will head into Philly. After we park at the hotel, we will all head on down to the expo. It’ll be kind of fun to see my dad and R2 at the expo since neither have ever been to one. After what is likely to be an obscene amount of photos, I’ll pick up my bib and make it officially official! We will head back to the hotel to relax (and watch Notre Dame for R2) and then have some dinner. There is a pizza/pasta place around the corner from the hotel which is great- my parents and R2 can have whatever they want and I can be content with my pre-race pasta! My hope is to be in bed early- which I don’t anticipate sleeping much, I at least want to be resting.
Race-Day Plan- The more I think about having gotten this hotel room, the better I feel about it. I am less than a mile from the start. I can stay in the comfort of my room, stay warm (high of 62 [!!!] but it’ll still be a chilly morning) and best of all, I will have my own toilet. This makes me happy in way only athletes can understand!!!! Before I know it, it’s going to be start time. My plan is very simple: start out slow…stay on pace as best as possible, make sure to look for family/friends at planned check points and finish. One foot in front of the other for 26.2 miles.
Goals- I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a time goal. Of course I do. I have a pace group I plan to stay with for as long as possible and I definitely know when I want to cross the line. However- and I am dead serious- time goals come last to everything else. The first goal is to finish. Second to that is the finish happy and knowing that I did the best I could, no matter how long it takes me to do so. Therefore, if in the end, I don’t make my time goals…that will be okay. It doesn’t take away from the fact that I will have become a marathoner. And at the end of the day, it is an automatic PR
When it comes to visualizing the race, I always picture myself happy and running. If the stars align and I can just feel good at the start, and throughout the race, I will be happy. I am not worried about the first half- I have done seven of those. I know to take it slower and pace myself and I a ready for that- it’s the whole pass-the-finish-line-at-the-half-mark that makes me most nervous. I have never had to go left to Mile 14! I have my mom and R2 stationed to see me about half way through mile 14- it will give me incentive to breeze through the half mark like I own it! I visualize the second half being a lot slower, with walking…but I still picture myself as happy. I know there will be pain- pain like I have never felt- I know I am in for some hurting. But I am committed to being focused on the positive. I am committed to saying ”I can” when I want to say “I can’t” and I am committed to saying “Keep going” when my body says “stop” because I know it is temporary. I am know I am stronger than I ever imagined. I just want to take the whole race in- take note of the spectators, thank the police staff and volunteers and smile a lot! And finish. And when I picture the finish line, I always see myself crossing it- happy. And crying. I have a feeling there will be tears! And photos. Tears and photos galore!
Let’s do this!!!!!