The realization that it is less than 6 days until the marathon is setting in.
This will be my 8th, so it’s not something I haven’t done before. I had a fantastic race last October, my best ever, even on the hilly Nike Women’s course in San Francisco, setting a personal record of 4:41 — knocking 7 min. off of an 8-yr.-old PR. But, when you’re a recreational athlete, and not blessed with Kenyan genetics (or other natural runner-ness), it’s still daunting to go from months of training to THE one day (of the 2-3 poss. in a year), where you’ll have the opportunity to achieve a new goal over 26.2 miles.
This is my race. This is what I’ve been consistently training for, 40+ mile weeks for 9 months, Mon. morning 10-milers in the rain and below-freezing temperatures, track workouts even on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, and the hardest part, becoming the one who leaves at 10 or 11 p.m., giving up quite a few late nights of fun — all for a bigger goal.
Our coaches gave a really inspiring talk last night at a pre-race Rogue Pep Rally. One of my take-aways was to focus on the positives. To not worry about the things we can’t control, like what’s worrying me most, the predicted race-day weather, which keeps getting warmer and possibly thunderstorming, or nagging injuries that never quite go away. Instead to focus on what we can control, our own positive, mental attitude.
I’m not sure this is exactly what my coach meant, but it’s a start. I have a lot of positive things to focus on instead:
1) I get to start off the race with my running family (the Rogue Rogues).
2) It’s a challenging course, but I have home-field advantage knowing this course, having run it many times and knowing my coaches Amy, Mark, Carolyn and Ruth and friends Laura, Joe, Heidi, Paul, Peter, she-Chris, Lorrie, Marchele, he-Chris, Courtney, Kamran, Carol, DC, Cha Cha and Stephie, will be out there running and supporting. My coach has gone above and beyond to guide me over the last 9 months, celebrating my up’s and cheering me up during the down’s, and helping me prepare better than ever.
3) Tahsin and I plan to run the race together and both achieve a new PR of 4:30 or <. He is one of the strongest runners and all-around most positive people I know. I can run in silence next to him for hours, and will on Sunday. (He’s my running hubby with the fro, not to be confused with my actual hubby, Scoob, with the shaved head. : )
4) Scooby and Laura will meet us at Dean Keaton and help us run up the tough 100 ft. climb at mile 24!! I’ll also channel Super Joe. He helped me in spirit for the hills of San Francisco. We’ll use his super powers here too.
5) I am well-trained and ready. This week, friends have shared different nuggets of positives. One mentioned I have a “steely determination.” Another that I am reliable, that she knows she can count on me, telling me to trust myself like she trusts me. Another sent a note saying that I have been an inspiration for her (she ran her first half-marathon in Oct.) and she’s happy that I am a role model for her 5-yr.-old daughter and loves that she has such strong women in her life. I am committed and driven. I am reliable and trustworthy. I am a strong woman and good role model.
Best of all, I do believe in the magic of the day. That somehow, some way, we’re able to do things on race day that we can’t do in training. On race day, in my mind, I am a Kenyan.
P.S. (No meltdown yet, Coach Amy. I know it will come, unless the serious positive juju can ward it off. : )