|26.2 glorious miles|
|In these conditions|
The bags are packed, the boarding passes are in hand. All training that is to be done has been done. All that's left to do now is make sure I'm properly hydrated and my liver is all filled up with glycogen goodness. I think I can handle it. The scale this morning claims my liver weighs 2 more pounds than it did last week. Unless that's all water weight. Hm.
Actually, there is one last bit of training I need to do now, and aside from Mr. Bump and I herding
cats my parents around northern Oregon. And that's getting my game face on. I've got a variety of goals for this marathon, which is partly why I'm so keyed up.
A goal: A 4:45 marathon. Is this realistic given my training? Probably not, but if all the stars align, I might have it in me. It's my might-just-be-out-of-reach goal.
B goal: A 4:59:xx marathon. My main goal is to break 5 hours. My previous marathon time was 5:03, and I believe I can break that 5 hour barrier, barring any major
crap disasters. There will be pacers for this marathon, and although my previous experience with pacers wasn't great, if I can keep myself between the 4:45 and 5:00 pacers, I'll be in the sweet spot.
C goal: A 5:02:xx marathon. If something goes awry, and I can't gain back a couple of minutes, I would really like to beat my previous marathon time.
D goal: Finish this mother. Really, this is primary. Given the challenges of this training cycle, I just want to git ma giddy up and hold my medal up. I just freestyled that right there. Next career: rap star, yo.
Beyond setting out my goals ahead of time, the mental preparation is also all about making a sort of plan and visualizing how that's going to look.
- I plan on running the first 17 or so miles except for water stops, and then assess how I'm feeling at that point as to whether I want to switch to run/walk or just keep after it. If I switch to run walk, I'll shoot for 5/1 intervals.
- Mr. Bump and I are trying to make a spectator plan as well, places where they'll try to be so I can look for them. There are going be something like 14,000 runners in this bad boy, so there's a good chance we could miss each other all together. We'd all be disappointed to come all this way and not have the opportunity to connect, but I have to face that as a possibility, and mentally be prepared to run the whole distance on my own. With 13,999 other people.
- Speaking of other people, I really want to try very hard not to get caught up in the start surge and run those first couple of miles too fast. This is hard for every runner, and while I've been guilty of it in the past, I know that I can also slow down and take the first few easy.
- I'm also experimenting with a mantra or two: I've always loved Haruki Murakami's: Pain is inevitable, misery is optional. I've actually got a headband with those words on it, which I might be wearing for the marathon. Other options are
- Those last 6.2 miles. I'm going to try and dedicate each of those last six miles to someone who has supported me, helped me along and been my cheerleader. I've got three pros already lined up, who I hope to see along the way.
- My two friends whose names both start with Chris. I've raced with both of them, and had so much fun with both of them. While I'm hating miles 20-22, I'm going to try to think about the smiles on their faces while I was pushing them both to sprint at the end of those races.
- Mom gets mile 23-24. Pretty much don't have to explain this one to anyone who has ever met my mom, but in case you haven't, I'll just leave you with this picture. Also she's the designated worrier for Team Bump, so I have nothing to worry about--she's on top of it.
- That guy in the matching sweatshirt is my dad. Mile 24-25 is really hard. You want so badly to quit, even though you're almost done. Your body is wrecked (pain is inevitable, misery is optional) and every step feels like the toughest step you've ever taken. My father has broken many bones, fallen several stories, flown through the windshield of his pickup truck, fallen down a well, and had so many stitches we've stopped keeping track. At almost 77, he's still a badass. If he can shrug off pain and keep at it, then I can cowboy up that mile. I'm going to be picturing him marching behind me shoving me toward the finish line. That'll work for me.
- Mr. Bump gets mile 25-26. He's been to all but a handful of my races, and he's always there after a hot run with a big glass of ice water and a fan, or a mug of cocoa after a snowy, chilly one. He always, every time, no matter whether it's a 3-miler or a 21 miler, asks me how my run went. I never could have gotten to a point in my life where I was running a marathon without him.
- Don't worry, I didn't forget that last 2/10ths of a mile, which is without question the most difficult .2 miles EVER. The person I hope to be thinking about, through the hazy stupor that comes from being able to see the finish line,is my littlest running partner, A. He runs because it's fun and most of the time when he does, he's giggling (although that might be because I'm chasing him...hm). And I'm sure I'm going to need that reminder right about then. Because really, shouldn't it always be this fun?