Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Marathon Musings

It’s almost exactly 5 days to go time, and it feels surreal. Am I really running a marathon in just 5 days? This training cycle has just flown by, and I haven’t been thinking much about the race because we’ve simply been busy. I was reading Dani’s blog post yesterday, and reading it reminded me that I too have a marathon to run in a few days…then I remembered that I need to pick up more glide and gels before the race…

Am I uber psyched for race day? Well, to be honest, that’s generally not my style. It’s hard to get extra super excited to run as hard as you can for 26.2 miles. And while I’m being so very honest, marathon pace doesn’t feel “easy” to me. It’s not a pace that I can “run all day long”. I can run it for 26.2 miles (hopefully), and not much longer. Does this mean I have a bad attitude? I don’t think so. I’m simply realistic and generally aware of the difficulty of the task before me. Now some people like to ask me: “Why? Why do you do it? Why do you race?”

I guess it’s a fair question. I’m never going to be elite. I’m not going to the Olympics. I’m busy with children and work. Here’s the real deal though, I simply love running. I love training for a goal, and trying to chase that goal. I may be terrified of what will come on Sunday, but that’s all the more reason to do it. Eleanor Roosevelt said “Do one thing every day that scares you.” I am so behind because I only do something that scares about once a month.

Overall, I’ve had a great training cycle. 20 weeks, with 9 weeks being at 70+ miles. I’ve run five 20+ milers, three 18 milers, and several 16 milers. Two of my 20+ milers were fast finishes, where I ran the last 4-6 miles at 6:45 pace, which is a nice confidence booster. I just ran a reasonably good (for me) half marathon with no taper, which is also a nice confidence booster. I’ve done the training, and I’m as ready as ready can be. That being said…there are never any guarantees. That’s partly why race day feels so terrifying for me. All the hard work is necessary to having a good day, but it doesn’t guarantee a good day…

Getting back to the question of “Why?” Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote isn't really why I race. I revisit this question every marathon cycle. It’s a philosophical question, and while the why of running may change from day to day, the why I race stays fairly constant. See below…



That's going to be my mantra "Keep Calm, and Stay Fierce." I love it! Racing lets me stay fierce...whatever happens on Sunday...I hope to keep calm, and stay fierce.

6 comments:

Karen said...

If marathon pace were one "I could run all day", it would be more like 50mile or 100k pace, not marathon pace, right? If it is easy, your goal is probably too attainable. I love that you have tough but doable goals.

It kinda irks me when people always set soft goals and then beat them by 20 minutes. It doesn't mean you did awesome at the race, it just means you suck at setting goals for yourself. Of course, it is different if it is your first time at a distance or coming back from injury/hiatus.

Also, I'm right there with you on the excitement part. I think I get more nervous than excited before a marathon.

Ana-Maria RunTriLive said...

I think the faster one gets, the harder MP feels. I remember in my first marathon I felt super up to mile 19. My last marathon felt hard all the way! Ha! Bring on the fierce and a nice calm day, cool temps and no wind, and you will have the race of your life:) Hoping I can get my ducks in a row and come see you on Sunday!

Katie said...

@Karen: I laughed so hard at "it just means you suck at setting goals for yourself"!

@AM: It would be great to see you. :) I was telling Robin on Sunday that I wish you'd come back to racing soon. I miss our runs!

Tia said...

I couldn't agree more- about marathon pace. I remember when my MP was an 8:15 back when I was trying to BQ and it really did feel easy. A 6:45 feels a little different but I know I'm ready. And I know you are ready!! You have had a killer training cycle.

I LOVE that Eleanor Roosevelt quote. I think I've heard it before but in preparing for a marathon it has a different meaning to me now. I may have to borrow that around the time of my marathon (2 weeks from Sunday).

Good luck this weekend! You've got this!!

Anonymous said...

Well *I* am extra super excited, because I get to see what happens when you run a marathon after all that good training, and I don't even have to run!;) I want a race report ASAP afterwards!

Karen--"It doesn't mean you did awesome at the race, it just means you suck at setting goals for yourself"--excellent, I love it!

Alicia

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