|Final training run complete - time for 26.2 in the morning!|
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Marathon Eve - Ready to Rock Philadelphia
I never expect the week before a race to be easy.
For those uninitiated to racing, the final "taper week" is always rough as you cut back on mileage and intensity. Appetite. Anxiety. Aches and pains. Amnesia.
Simply refer to this post for a full explanation of what happens to me when I am "not running".
This week was all of that times a million. Add to all of the usual taper madness getting stuck in that "historic" Buffalo snowstorm, one work crisis after another, and, for my grand finale....leaving my race shoes behind in New Jersey.
Nothing seemed to fall into place for me in any area of my life this week and it was a real test. At least that's how I'm looking at it as I stare down the last few hours between me and my biggest race to date.
I have a healthy respect for the marathon. I know that in spite of all my work and training race day can be unpredictable. The weather looks promising, but there are 1,001 things that can and may go wrong at any point over 26.2 miles. I am trying to not let those things rule my thoughts.
In some ways I am thankful that this week was rough. It made me realize how much I have been through during this training cycle and in the two years since I started training for my first half marathon. I have come a long way and I know that wouldn't have been possible without the support of family, friends, babysitters, and the countless people who cheer me on from so many different locations (worldwide, in fact!)
This week I have had people in my life drop everything to do the things I needed to be ready for tomorrow. Drop off race shoes. Drive from Buffalo to Philly to watch Domani. Talk ad nauseam about race strategy. Just be there at the exact time and place that I needed it. And over the last 16 weeks I have had support like a single mom could only dream of as I have stuck to a 6 day-a-week training schedule while maintaining a more than full time work week.
I know how blessed I am to be surrounded by such amazing people.
Today, I saw a post on Instagram that stuck with me because it captured what I felt the last 5 years or so have been doing in my life. I felt it was fitting going into this marathon and it inspired me.
This training cycle and especially this past week has felt very much like an "undoing" for me - in the best kind of way. I can't wait to see what comes of it.
Tonight I will look back through my running journal (thanks Ken!) and the more than 825 miles I have logged there and lay out my racing clothes (complete with my correct shoes - thanks Mom & Dad!) and know that I have done everything possible for my best performance in the morning.
I will leave it all on the streets of Philadelphia and whether I'm screaming "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" from the rooftops at the end or simply huffing and puffing "Till I Collapse" I will know that this training cycle and this race pushed me to my extremes. I have already achieved more over the past 4 months than I dreamed was possible and that gives me so much confidence for tomorrow and for whatever lies beyond.