10 days til Marathon #9

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Here we go again.  As temperatures have been in the single digits overnight the past two days, tomorrow, the Charleston Marathon will be just single digits away.  Marathon #9 is 10 days away today.  Normally, I am more prepared, both physically and mentally for a marathon this close.  What has happened this time?  I actually started the pre race nerves this morning.  This race has truly snuck up on me.  I guess the reason for that is that I have not run a race in January before.  Normally I am base building right now.  It is amazing to me how much the holidays and work commitments have distracted me so much from this race.  Now is the time to get my head in the game!

It has been so difficult to get my training miles in.  I have been running, but I feel like it hasn’t been enough.  This is really uncharted territory for me.  The past two years, my first marathon each time has been in March.  This allowed for a slower progression toward my goal.  Due to the overwhelming cold weather recently, I have found it very challenging to just get out there and run.  This is no excuse normally, but temps have just been very extreme.  Today, I have a four miler planned, and I will run it at the height of the day, when the temperature is supposed to hit 42 degrees.

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Reminder!  Just 10 days away…..  Ok, so I need to get myself ready mentally, too.  I woke up this morning, my first day off from work in a week, thinking about the race.  Thinking about the plan.  The logistics.  The four hour ride to Charleston, the hotel, food options.  I have started looking for a restaurant, for my pre race dinner.  I’m thinking Italian.  Pasta, chicken.  My go to foods the night before a race.  Planning out the trip, the details, helps get my head in the game.  It helps to calm my nerves, having a plan in place.  Racing at home is so much easier on the nerves.  When you have to travel, stay in a hotel, and get around a city you are not familiar with it is just more unnerving. Planning these things now, will help me to stay calm.

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This is my first time running in Charleston.  I am so excited to see the city, and just experience the southern charm.  I am looking forward to the hospitality, and hope it abounds in the way of crowd support along the marathon route.  I am always so thankful, and show my appreciation to those cheering on us runners.

This being my ninth marathon, I feel pretty confident about getting through the miles.  My goal though for the first part of 2014, is to make progress toward Boston.  By the time the race comes, it will be almost exactly two months since my last marathon in Las Vegas.  So, even though I have only run one double digit mileage training run (10 miles) since Vegas, I feel like I can rely on my legs and feet to get me there.  Not sure if I’ve done enough to hit my goal of a 3:25:00 finish, however.  My goal is what has me nervous for this marathon.  Maybe those nerves will help me fight harder, run harder.

For today, and for the remaining days leading up to this race, I feel my best plan is to get in several more shorter runs.  Focusing mentally on the race will happen naturally while I run, and during my down time.  I feel like my body will be ready, so the mental game, the goal will be the focus.  Zeroing in on mental calm over the coming days is what is most important now.

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The starting line is 10 days away, but the final focus begins today.