So I’m running the SF marathon tomorrow. That’s been discussed. #oldnews Anyways, I think I’m now officially as ready as I am possibly going to be (which is saying something). I finally figured out what gear I was going to carry, which was surprisingly difficult.
But I’m all laid out and ready to go with a warm enough outfit for me (capris and longsleeve) but I hopefully won’t get too overheated. I’ve got a sweats bag with warmer clothes. I’ve got breakfast. I’ve got a charged Garmin and a loaded iPod. I’ve got Gatorade and Gu and seventeen alarms set.
I’ve gone to the Expo and wandered around and spent money.
I’ve gone to events leading up to the race to get excited.
But am I ready? Truly?
When I wrote my post the other day, I talked about the mental game being the most important. I can will myself through the race in a blur of joy (“You are so much stronger than you think!”), or I can start beating myself down after mile 5 (“you’re tired. You’re failing. Just give up.”) I recognize how close I might be to veering dangerously down the latter route… and I won’t finish this race if I’m not my own biggest fan.
In my first and only half marathon, I was in a wave much faster than I expected. I just went with it, and thought I was running about a minute per mile slower than I was—or even 2. Sure, I broke 2 hours which I couldn’t have dreamed of doing before, but I also have never been that physically wasted, EVER. If I start in my wave (2) I’m going to be surrounded by people kicking my ass and that’s going to affect my mental game. And for what? The only reason I wanted to start in that wave was honestly to have 10 or 20 minutes more before the course closes. And if I’m freaking out for that reason, I have much worse problems. Backing out of wave 2! I was going to run with the 4:15 pace group but I’m not sure about that anymore still. I’ll just go with it.
Quotes and motivation
I’ve recorded some quotes onto my iPod to keep me pumped up. That and I’m just trying to focus on them anyways throughout the race. The SF Marathon slogan is “Worth The Hurt”… and while I don’t want to be ACTUALLY hurt (see next point), I know it’s going to be physically tough and I’ll have to rely on mental strength to get me through each mile.
Don’t Get Hurt
That whole pulled quad thing? Yeah, well it randomly still hurts. There is an acute possibility that it will flare up during the marathon. My goal is to, well, not aggravate it, as much as that’s possible, but more importantly to respect my body and know that if I get injured, NO medal is worth it. There will be other marathons.
Embracing the spirit
I have an iPod problem. I was under the impression for so long that I can’t run without music. News flash: I can. But it’s just a little harder. And that’s fine! I’m making a kickass playlist for the marathon, but my goal is not to listen to it the whole time. My goal is also to talk to at least a dozen people. I don’t mean let’s slow down and have a serious conversation, but just to connect in some way with my fellow runners. We could all run 26.2 miles on our own. Very few of us spend $150 to show up to a start line and actually fathom winning it. Instead we show up to be a part of something bigger. I want to embrace that. It’s not just about a medal, it’s about new friendships and strengthening existing ones. It’s about dragging my butt across town to go for an early morning jog with my favorite runner Bart Yasso and a handful of other amazing people, or waiting around the ferry building for vegan donuts with other new friends. Running is about community and I want to fully embrace that tomorrow instead of tackling the challenge solo.
Running for a Reason
I need this race. Life has been a little harder lately than I would like to admit. My self-esteem has been suffering. And that can either cripple me in this race… or this race can be my opportunity to prove to myself that I have what it takes. That I am strong. I can run a marathon even if I’m walking half of it. I want to run this race for me. To remind myself that I’m much more capable than I often give myself credit for.
In this lovely city that I’ve been blessed to call home. In the amazingness of a race. In the fun I’ll have with friends old and new. And the opportunity to look back and smile and say, “that was awesome.”
Time to finish last to-dos and then relax and attempt to get some sleep without waking up every 20 minutes.
Hopefully the next time you hear from me I will have finished my second marathon or given it the best try that I had. Night!