Today I did my last big run before the marathon… The first time I saw this run on my schedule on Training Peaks, I thought ok, no big whoop, I can do that. But as it loomed ever closer, it grew increasingly intimidating. I hoped my friend would be able to run at least part of it with me, but she wasn’t available… it would be me, alone with this mammoth workout, 20 miles to be run as:
6 miles warming up I can do this in my sleep.
8 miles at goal marathon pace (8:24/mile) That will be hard.
2 miles easy That I can do.
2 miles faster than goal marathon pace Yikes.
2 miles cooling down. Got it.
By Saturday I had planned a route, filled my water bottles, and prepared my fuel belt with a variety of gels, espresso Hammer gel on the right (which turned out to be the left once I put it on) and miscellaneous flavors on the left. Saturday night I made the difficult choice to forgo what promised to be a super fun party in favor of staying in and making sure I got to bed at a reasonable hour, because I know how I am, I go out and think I am only going to stay for an hour or two but then it’s always so fun I want to stay out longer, then before I know it I’ve been there the whole night, and then I come home and then its at least another hour before I have wound down sufficiently to even think about turning out the light. So I circumvented the whole thing and accepted the FOMO that came with that decision, (oh and ps, The New York Times, I have been talking about FOMO since 2005, just so you know). But I knew it was what I had to do to make sure the run would at least not suck, and at best, be a major confidence boost as my last long run before my taper (yay, taper!).
The conditions were nearly perfect, sunny, breezy, windy at times, but nowhere near the type of howling wind that had me swerving all over the track this Tuesday morning. Temps were around the 40’s to begin with and gradually warmed to the mid 50’s. The warm-up felt good, the eight mile goal race pace bit was a little hard but relaxed to start with and very painful by the end, and the two mile harder than race pace was plain old brutal and I only exceed my goal pace by 8 seconds per mile, but I got it all done in just a hair under three hours, so I will call it a success.
Sometimes people ask me what I think about when I am running. Mostly nothing of great importance except all the mental cheerleading I do for myself when my energy is waning. Here is a breakdown. I didn’t feel like teaching myself how to make a pie chart using Excel so I drew it myself. Please note, according to my in-house IT Guru Extrordinaire, aka husband, Dan, if you click on it you can actually see it.