Tomorrow morning, I will be running the Marine Corps Marathon. It is all I can think about and I am a bundle of nervous energy. Also tomorrow, I will hit my 1,000th mile run this year; right now I am at 998 miles in 2013.I am so excited and nervous. I’m glad I made it this far. I am so glad I didn’t get injured on this training cycle. I have been running since July, faithfully adhering to Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 2 training plan.
I did base-building in Izmir, Istanbul, Provence, and Paris.I ran in Fort Worth, in Portland (Maine), in San Diego (20 milers on a work trip!), in Santa Fe.I spent Friday nights on the couch in compression socks, eating pasta and drinking Nuun. I woke up at 5am on Saturday mornings to drink black coffee and eat bagel thins with banana slices and honey and salt. I logged hundreds of miles on trails and city blocks around DC, drank gallons of lemon-lime Gatorade, choked down margarita-flavored shot blocks and packets of vanilla Gu. I foam rolled, I did leg lifts, I stretched. I ran 10 miles of hills before work, did pace runs in unfamiliar places early in the morning while on work trips, plotted out routes online and strategized post-run fueling. I went to bed at 9pm and saw many beautiful sunrises. I saw the world before it woke up.
I loved it all and while I’m proud to have gotten through it all and can’t wait to run this race, a part of me is sad. Sad this training cycle is over and summer is turning to winter. Nervous that I have one day to show for it all. Trying to remain calm and trust the training. To enjoy what was an amazing training cycle.
I have a variety of goals for tomorrow. I want to to have fun, to enjoy it, to not hate myself or hate the marathon at mile 20 or 24. I want to run the whole time, to not hit the wall and have to walk. I want to break four hours, but I also want to know that is a pretty lofty goal, and that 4:05 or 4:15 will be very good, too. I want to break 4:30 for sure. I want to enjoy it and feel good. I want to remember that no one cares about my time, and to not compare myself to others. I want to not go out too fast, to pace myself easy and smooth, to feel good in the final stretch and negative split.
And if nothing else, I want to cross the finish line. No matter what, I KNOW I can do that.