Final countdown! Only a couple more days until the Newport Marathon. I’m getting so nervous! This will be my 9th stand-alone marathon and my first time running Newport.
This has been a really different training cycle than anything I’ve done before. Mainly because since the beginning of 2011 we’ve been at some stage of the homebuying process. Looking, negotiating the purchase, renovating the house, and moving in. There has definitely not been a dull moment.
It was never really difficult to get the training in, but I just feel like in general I was never 100% focused on it. It was more something I worked in around all this house stuff. It was kind of nice in a way, because I never got obsessed with it or over-thought anything. I just did the run, showered, and went to Home Depot. I think this was helpful because in the past I tend to over-analyze all my runs which was mentally very draining. In fact, this time I sort of kept forgetting about the race altogether, especially as I tapered down my mileage and spent less time running.
But now that the marathon is only a few days off… I’m kind of freaking out! I’m very nervous and excited. It’s like all the mental energy that was diverted throughout my training is coming back to me! I’m obsessing about the weather, talking non-stop about my strategy, and just generally feeling very antsy and anxious. It’s good though! I recognize this feeling from previous big events and I know it’s normal.
The other thing that has makes this marathon very different is that Zach and I were both going to run it. In fact I really only signed up because he was. But he came down with some kind of over-use injury with his knee a few weeks ago and has (wisely) decided to not run on Saturday. So now I’m doing it alone. I feel really bad- I mean, I’ve been injured before and I know how frustrating and depressing it is! So it’s been hard for me to get excited. I feel guilty. Zach has been nothing but supportive and is being his usual super-husband self, helping me get ready and listening to my rambles. But I still feel bad.
However, since there is nothing we can do about the situation, I will admit I am very excited that he will be there to support me. Not only will he be able to watch the race and wave hello, but also be standing by with refills of water and whatnot! Last year when he ran and I spectated, we did the same in reverse. He will be able to see me about mile 15 at the turnaround point (actually he’ll probably wait a ways up the course so he can see me two times) and give me a fresh water bottle. Perfect! And then he can get lots of pictures too. It will be fun.
So- goals! This is another example of how this race is going to be very different than the ones before. For the first time in a great long while, I am NOT trying to BQ. And it goes without saying, I am most certainly not trying to PR either! I know that technically a sub-3:40 is still a qualifying time for 2012, but with the whole rolling registration thing and yadda yadda…screw it. I am not interested in trying for it. For the first time in ages, I will be running this race sans pace band! Get this, people… I will be running this marathon sans garmin! Gasp! Oh, I’ll be wearing a watch. I’m not crazy. But the garmin is not necessary. I am going to keep my splits but run mostly “by feel,” whatever that means.
I’m excited to not have to run a super grueling pace. I have this theory that if I don’t run the first part of the race so fast, I will not suffer as much toward the end. This is based on every single race experience I have had where I have done the opposite. It’s this little plan I have called “pacing myself” and it just might be crazy enough to work.
I think I can run about a 3:45. I would be happy with anything under 3:50 and thrilled with something closer to 3:40. I honestly have no idea what to expect- I have done enough of these to know that anything can happen. My #1 goal is to stick to my strategy of starting off conservatively and trying to run strong to the end. I want to have fun and finish with a smile on my face!
Will update asap after! Thanks as always for all your support and encouragement!
Pics from Zach’s race last year: