The Mysterious Marathon
My first attempt at Boston is imminent. Iâ€™m not exactly freaking out yet, but Iâ€™m close. If checking the weather forecast every ten minutes ten days before the race is an indication of neurosis, then Iâ€™m there.
Incidentally, December 9th in Kiawah (as of 6:50pm today) should feature a low of 43 and high of 59 with mostly sunny skies.
As a child, anxiety dreams manifested themselves in the mundane â€œI went to school in my underwearâ€ genre. In College, it was â€œThe final exam is today? I havenâ€™t even cracked a book!â€ Now, I dream of getting lost during a race, being late to a race, or just plain missing the race entirely. In the hazy moments between sleeping and waking, this can feel dreadfully real.
In theory, I should be just fine. Iâ€™ve trained hard, diligently following Rickâ€™s Autumn of Pain (Â© 2006) training regimen (Adapted from Pete Pfitzingerâ€™s program). Iâ€™m injury-free, and most importantly, feel satisfied with the color of my shoes. Iâ€™ve done pace runs, long runs, short runs, strides, Yasso work, modified longer VO2max work, tempo runs, trail runs, and races. Iâ€™ve run in the rain, in the mountains, on a treadmill, in the morning, afternoon, and the middle of the night. I even have the geeky runnerâ€™s headlamp to prove it.
According to Guy Averyâ€™s marathon predictor, (based on various factors including most recent Â½ marathon time) Iâ€™ve got a decent shot at my goal (3:15). I feel strong, Iâ€™m really enjoying this taper thing, and Iâ€™m determined to run a disciplined race. I should be all set, right?
But thatâ€™s the thing about the marathon. Itâ€™s a mystery.
Iâ€™ve never gone as fast as Iâ€™ll go on December 9th at Kiawah. I donâ€™t yet know what will happen after mile 20 (when the race really begins). I donâ€™t really know about the weather, or if Iâ€™ll wake up on the right side of the bed. Until the race is over, I wonâ€™t know.
But you know, I sort of like that about the marathon.
Until then, I’ll take what dreams may come.
November 29th, 2006 at 7:08 pm
Relax. I totally know how you feel. The two weeks before my first ever marathon I was a train wreck. I was shooting for 3:10 and finished in 2:59:04. Tapering for me was nearly impossible. I just HAD to run harder. I kept telling myself that anything done in those last two weeks could only hurt me in the marathon. Nothing I did then would help me run faster. It was too late for ‘productive’ training.
I too reloaded the 10 day forcast page on weather.com every 10 minutes.
Hope to see you in Boston!
November 29th, 2006 at 7:21 pm
You never do less than your best, so no matter what, you’ll still be a winner. I imagine that’s the kind of sentiment you may not care to hear right now, but that doesn’t make it less true! I’m proud of you and everything you’ve accomplished for yourself. I say this BEFORE the race, and I’ll say it after.
November 30th, 2006 at 10:12 am
The confidence is greatly appreciated, but what do you say of my latest anxiety dream; getting lost while running the marathon in my underwear as my college thesis board follows in a golf cart firing at me questions completely unrelated to my field of study?
December 1st, 2006 at 1:31 am
dean, i echo the words above. you’re training with dedication and you will do your best. that much you know. funny, i have the very same dreams before a race.
December 8th, 2006 at 8:35 am
Freud says it has something to do with your mother.