Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Heading into the Richmond Marathon I feel....

1. Lazy!  My goal this week has been to get to bed early, sleep as much as possible, and to push morning workouts to the afternoon in lieu of more sleep. My incentive to hit the hay early is that's when I curl up to re-read Marshall Ulrich's book, Running on Empty, documenting his run across the US. It puts a "mere" marathon into perspective as he was doing 60-70 miles a day on some beat-up legs at age 57.

2. Dialed into my capabilities. I've had enough runs of moderate to long distances to have dialed into my predicted marathon pace, which is in the ballpark of previous marathon paces. On Sunday's short MP run, I was super consistent and within 1-2 seconds on each mile. Of course, the stuff after mile 20 is still relatively unknown territory which is the fun and the mystery of it all.

3. Armed with a mental approach. My goal with this race is to demonstrate to myself and my coach that I have the discipline to hold back in the early miles and through the first half of the race. I had one really standout run this fall where I ran marathon pace for 14 miles then was asked to run two miles about 10-15s under marathon pace. I had this indescribable feeling of pent-up anticipation and found a whole extra gear, running the next mile 25 s under and the next mile I flew at 1:05 under (around my 10k pace), then settled easily back into MP.  My incentive to hold back in the first half is the hope that I will get to experience even a tiny bit of THAT feeling again.

4. Sound. As opposed to "lame" term. I generally feel pretty good from head to toe other than a slight shin splint on the left that doesn't seem to be a factor during the run but I sometimes feel it for a day after a run.

5. Like I live in a petri dish. Both kids were home sick Monday with respiratory infections. They sound like they are coughing up a lung especially at night. So I keep reminding them to cough away from me! It's hard not to think/imagine if my throat hurts, ears feel funny, etc. Am I really just lazy or do I have a touch of what they have? Ackkk!!!

6. Excited. I am coming into this race feeling pretty mentally fresh and not broken down. I really liked the training approach which included more frequent but not-as-long runs. That decision was a function of my injury history and short time frame to train.

Marathon week can really play games with your head, but if there is one thing I have learned from the packed racing schedule this year, it's that you just have to go with the flow and have confidence that the body will know what to do on race day.

Due to the way the fall race schedule worked out, I am not as trained up for this race as I expect to be for Boston. So although a PR would be nice, my real goal is to run a disciplined and controlled race and to enjoy and be grateful for the ability and opportunity to get out there and do this.

There are SO many people from my town running in Richmond, that's part of the fun of training for it. I'll be lining up with my two good friends, Carla and Michaela. It's Carla's first marathon and I think the seventh Richmond Marathon for Michaela.  EFRT teammate Laura Bergmann will be there tearing it up too!!