I am eight days away from the Richmond Marathon. This week has been really busy with the kids, which is a good thing because otherwise I'd be obsessing about the race I'm sure. I've done the training, put in the miles, and I know I can do the distance. The unknown is what will I have on race day? Will my goal pace (no, I'm not revealing that card!) be doable and what will my mental state be? Can I keep things positive? Every return trip to a race leaves you wondering if you can improve on the last performance. This race is no different.
Jake has been having some IT band issues recently so going for a best race is out for him at Richmond. He's had to back off so his backed-off state is fairly close to my best-effort state so we are planning to run together, which I am glad about. He's good at thinking, tracking, monitoring, navigating. When I run, I'm pretty sure the blood gets diverted from my brain to my legs so the less thinking, tracking, monitoring, and navigating I have to do, the better. For us, running "together" generally means I am at least a few steps behind him, which suits me. I lock in on him and focus on keeping up.
I've begun thinking about my off season, which will begin after Richmond and go on through the holidays. (Except for the Turkey Trot, which is non-negotiable.)
Last year I blew it. I was afraid to lose ground and reluctant to back off so then in January and February I hit a patch of major burnout. Our cold, snowy, icy winter and far too many miles on the treadmill didn't help matters.
This year I feel more comfortable dialing back and I know I need it and will benefit from it in the long run. I realized that in the past calendar year, I've done 5 triathlons (3 sprint, 2 olympic), 2 bench press meets, 3 swim meets, and 4 races (5k, 8mi, 10mi, marathon). It's been a lot of gearing up, digging deep, and recovering.
It's time to let up, recover, refresh, and get hungry for the 2011 season.
It sounds good in theory, let's see if I can actually do it!