Six Days Out

I’ve started stalking the weather forecast, over analyzing every twinge and ache, and every sneeze. Yep, with less than a week to go I’m in full-blown taper mode, panic and all. This week I’m trying to focus on how strong my training has been rather than how I felt heavy and slow on the 10 mile run I did on Saturday morning.

Over the past sixteen weeks I’ve run nearly 600 miles. I run before the sun came up and late into the night. I hit intervals and tempo ran my heart out. When I look back at my training I know that I’m ready. I put in the hard work. I ran the distance and ran it strong. The only things in my way are my nerves and this cold that’s trying to creep in.

Starting today I’m taking it easy. I have only two more runs to do before race day, a 30 min and 20 min. Easy. I’m going to have a hard time limiting myself to these short runs. It’s been ages since I’ve run such short runs. I’m thinking about swimming at some point this week just to do a little low impact cross-training to keep everything loose.

I’m also hydrating, which I find a lot more difficult when I’m not sitting at a desk all day. I bought some Gatorade a few weeks back and it did my stomach no favors. I’m sticking to water with some Nuuns thrown in for fun.

Now I’m thinking and overthinking my race strategy. Top of mind:

1. Do I want to wear my fuel belt or not? I trained with it only when necessary because we had water at various spots on our trails. I hate wearing it but I hate being slowed down at water stops. Plus it’s nice to fuel when I want.

2. Pacing. Now most of my long runs were between 8:40-9:00 min/mile average pace. That was conversation pace but excluding water and bathroom breaks. This leads me to question what I can run not talking, but without breaks. Hopefully I will not need the porta-potties and I definitely will not be chatting. I have two pacer options in my corral 3:45 and 4:00.

I learned running Nike that running with the pacers isn’t always the best thing. I added almost a mile to my distance and wore myself out trying to keep up with the pacer in San Francisco. It was not worth it. I think that I’ll line up in between the two, trying to keep the 3:45 pacer in my sight line, but not worry about running with them.

3. Goals. I have a few goals for this race. First, finishing strong and healthy. Second, finish under 4:11 which is my current PR. Third and the one giving me anxiety thanks to pressure I’m putting on myself, finish sub-4. A 3:55 marathon would be an 8:57 average pace. If I look back at my training it’s doable, but then the above mentioned concerns come in.

Now I just need to make a new playlist to have just in case I feel like I need a little pick me up during the race. I’d love some suggestions.

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