It is Wednesday April 16, 5 days until the Boston Marathon. I am a ready to get it over with. I would prefer feeling like I am really excited to go to Boston and race, but I am nervous and tired. It seems that I went right from running the New York Marathon in November to training for Boston without a break. I had a few weeks without speed work when I was on the Cape, but then I was running extra hills and in the sand. My weeks have consisted of 6 days of running, with two of those days either speed or hill training, plus two days of strength training in the gym with a PT, weekly chiropractic visit, and one or maybe two massages. My legs are loose, strong, and at the moment pain free but I worry about hamstring flare-ups. I worry about going out too fast. The wonderful benefit of living in NY is that I had the chance to run the course three weeks prior to the marathon. I have no idea what it will be like running Boston. Everyone has a different story.
Last Sunday I ran a 4-mile race. Most of my teammates who are running Boston did not do the race. I am sure they were smart to save their legs, but for me it was to earn points for the team and it was a good confidence booster. I had 12 to run anyway so why not make 4 of those a race. I pushed hard the whole way; I took off an astonishing 1:20 from my PB 4-mile race in September. All the late winter speed work does make a difference.
While I update this page I am doing my laundry and laying out my clothes, athletic tape, rubber ball to loosen tight muscles, foam roller, and gels. Oh wait, I am out of gels so I will have one more stop at the store. I am driving up on Saturday with my friend and teammate Audra. We are very excited to watch the women’s Olympic trials on Sunday morning. We watched the men’s in New York and seeing Ryan Hall’s finish was fantastic, man what a runner he is!
Sometimes I think how ridiculous this is. I have been training for 4-5 months, running up to 60 miles a week, easily doing 23 miles runs, why do I get so nerved up I cannot even communicate to my friends or partner. At times I wish I could just go out there and run it, have fun as they say. But I want to run it in a certain time, I want to be 5% faster than last time, I want this to lead to an even faster time in the fall. The distance is not the problem; it is keeping the speed that I want to run for the distance. It is not wanting to feel disappointed by putting in so much work for just a few hours of running on one particular day. Perhaps that is the source of the real stress, 4 months of work, for one three and a half hour run and if it does not go as well as one plans, it is a longer run. And certainly the longer one runs, the more painful it can become. So I sit at home focusing my energy, petting my dog, and watching running movies, or rereading my many running books for some last minute inspiration. Oh I will be so happy Monday, I just want to get started so my brain will quiet down, or perhaps branch out. Whatever it is, I am truly thrilled to be running the Boston Marathon, the world’s oldest annual marathon and one of the most prestigious road racing events. And finally I have to mention Blossom, a great teammate, runner and supporter who dubbed herself the very ingenious title of “The Original Hilraiser.” Now if that is not supportive I don’t know what it. I will ready to go and wearing number 18686.