By this time next week, I will be home, most definitely resting, after having completed my first marathon. Even though I have spent the past 17 weeks preparing for that moment, I cannot believe how quickly the time snuck up on me.
I celebrated my taper yesterday by running almost four miles at a slow, easy pace. I stopped to take pictures (something I have not done on a run in a long time) and admire the beautiful late autumn scenery.
I absolutely adore Philly in the fall.
My Garmin has been acting wonky lately, failing to pick up signals on my last two long runs, and its battery went down to dangerously low levels during my recent 18 milers. I was hesitant to switch up my gear so soon before the marathon, but thanks to my mom, I ordered an early Christmas present for myself: the Garmin Forerunner 220. It should be here later this week, and the battery life should safely get me through my first marathon.
In addition to the business of real life (the next two-three months are shaping up to be INSANE in my world), I have multiple other marathon issues to think about.
· What will my nutrition plan this week be? I know I need to carb it up, but I also want to be mindful of getting enough vitamins and nutrients.
· What will my nutrition plan for the race be?
· What time should I go to bed each night? Too early, and I risk not falling asleep. Too late, and I am setting myself up to be overtired come race weekend.
· When do I need to wake up, leave the house and arrive at the race area?
· In which corral should I be placed? I was assigned to a corral with a much faster predicted finish time than my own (it’s not the race’s fault—I overestimated my ability when I registered.) I don’t want to block other faster runners, nor do I want to be blocked myself, so I’ll have to decide where exactly I want to be.
· What will I wear? The weather has been all over the place. I have no idea if I’ll be freezing or toasty next Sunday.
· What’s my pace strategy?
· Should I carry my own water? Should I carry my phone? Both items add lots of weight to my person, but they’re also valuable resources.
· Where will my family spectate? I’ve already scouted out locations for spectating, but now I have to figure out my estimated arrivals for each spot so that my mom knows when to be on high alert. There will be 30,000 other people running, so finding one another will be no easy task.
The most important thing for me is to stay calm this week. I’m having to deal with noisy neighbors, stress at work and important life planning simultaneously with the marathon. Keeping myself centered is what is going to get me through all of this, marathon and beyond, in one piece.
To that end, I started celebrating my Christmas season yesterday (yes, I know that is still ridiculously early), but turning on my holiday lights, drinking cocoa and listening to festive tunes soothes my soul.
So Merry Marathon everybody! I’ll be checking in with you again soon.