Well alright, one week until the Boston Marathon. I feel ready.
Yesterday, and for days before then, I did not feel ready. In fact, I thought I must be crazy to undertake a marathon with a time goal of three hours and fifteen minutes. I might be able to run a 5k or 10K at that pace, or maybe even a half-marathon. But a full marathon? It's nutty.
I followed Hal Higdon's four-month Intermediate I program. I completed two 20-milers successfully, and didn't miss too many of my scheduled runs. I worked the plan and I stayed healthy. I did yoga and fitness classes for many weeks during the four-month period. I ate well and didn't lose or gain weight. So I sould feel ready, right?
The difficult part of my training plan was nailing the pace runs. I did not manage to run good even paces for those runs, which were scheduled on the days before my long slow runs. Either, I went too fast and felt panicked the whole time, or, I went too fast and didn't complete the entire run. That ongoing issue left me with doubt about whether or not I could even things out for the big day and sustain a 'good enough' pace for my time. In addition, I was not sleeping well and generally felt tired all the time. The doubt, aka 'stinkin' thinkin' set in pretty well. Until today.
Today was my last long run and it was a mere eight-miler. I met up with a group I am training for a 5K race next month. They are new or returning runners, with little race experience. Two of my teammates who are also running in Boston joined the group today, as they have one other time and we all had a nice easy run. What brought me to this more self-assured attitude is hearing my friend Alan talk about his taper.
"This taper phase can really mess with your mind," he said. "I feel tired all the time and like crap when I go out for these short runs. I don't know how I'm going to run a marathon."
Phew, I felt such relief to hear this! I am not alone, and, it's only negative thinking: There's no real reason I should not have a fine marathon. Alan, too! I have total confidence in his abilities to run a PR.
The easy run this morning with its inherent camaraderie, followed by good food, a nap, and general laziness all day today leave me feeling rested and hopeful. I just need to remember what I have done over the past eighteen weeks. It's been 'good enough' and it's in the bank.