Well, the weeks have gone by (quite quickly) and I’ve shared reviews of how my training went and I figured it was about time to discuss my goal for this marathon. Ready for it?
To cross the finish line!
These past two weeks have been extremely hard for me both mentally and physically while tapering. I’m of course running fewer miles to give my body a period of rest but I’m also still fighting off this hip/hamstring/calf problem. I don’t dare call it an injury because I don’t think it is one and don’t want to jinx myself. I’ve been receiving physical therapy twice a week with an AMAZING therapist and his positive outlook has me repeating positive affirmations internally throughout the day. But in reality, running still hurts.
Last week I also pulled a neck/back muscle while in New Hampshire; a recap of that trip to come soon. That only seems to happen to me once a year and when it does, it’s bad. It feels impossible to go about your daily life and for five days I pretty useless. I did try running once and while I had relief during the run, things just tightened up immediately following the stop of my watch. Holding my water bottle during my last ten miler on Sunday didn’t feel good and now I’m left questioning my hydration choices for race day: I’d like to be as comfortable as possible fully knowing the pain I’ll be facing in my right leg/hip.
Of course this is NOT how I wanted to feel the last three weeks of my training cycle but I’m keeping my eyes on that finish line, and golly, do they tear up often when visualizing the end. I cried Tuesday morning on my way out the door when I read a text from my best friend mentioning that she wants to run a couple of miles with me on Sunday. I cried typing that out. The amount of support I have is tremendous and I am thankful for every friend, text, word of encouragement. I’m an emotional girl. Tapering is an emotional time for just about every runner. Thank goodness I am not PMSing!
Back to my goal: to finish. I of course had a time goal this entire summer while training but am trying to push that number out of my head. It’s admittedly VERY hard to do; I’ve been constantly thinking about every possible what-if. I now have to race on the cautious side just in case things get hairy very early in the race, but I’m also reassuring myself that I CAN run through it. I put up with the pain and cramping for the last 12 miles of my 20 miler. And I’ll have company. A teammate and new friend of mine is planning to start the race at my estimated pace- which is what I personally think I can run for 26.2 miles. We’ve ran almost every single long run together and it’s a comforting feeling knowing his goals are similar to mine. There are pace groups that will be running similar paces, which will help keep me motivated to continue moving forward too. Oh, not to mention all of the fellow runners and spectators that will be along the course 🙂
So that’s it. Yesterday I got up to run my last four miles with a group of friends under the moon and stars. It was chilly and perfect. The remainder of my time will be spent reading inspiring quotes and probably bawling my eyes out watching The Spirit of the Marathon (there’s a II now I guess?!). Oh and painting my nails badass black. Any other good reads or films I should cram in before Sunday morning? Weeeeeee! Here I go!