Can you believe that this countdown started from 100+ days, and now the marathon is here? I have run countless 90-105 mile weeks, 5 20+ mile runs, and thought a million hours about it. My beloved 10th marathon on 10-10-10 has arrived.
So yeah. Today was good though! Biked down in the morning to the Farmer's Market in Lincoln Park with my brother in law. It was cool to see a different market and help him get a few things for the week. Afterward, my sis and bro in law went to the gym, and I went for a quick 2 mile shakeout. Then, I met up with them and we zip-car-ed to the expo. It was really weird being at the expo though, I couldn't quite put my finger on it. I was/am feeling nervous, but it wasn't the same as usual. Like I don't know quite how I feel about it all. I couldn't switch my corral because it was too late, so I'm stuck in the 'open' corral which stinks, because I really wanted to hook up with a pace group. And, I know it is going to be super-crowded at the beginning because the FASTEST in the open corral is 4:00 pace. Yikes. So, I'm a bit nervous for the beginning and getting too boxed in. But whatevs. I just have to work with it and do the best I can.
Now, we are all chillin discussing 'strategy' for tomorrow. Ie: where my sis and bro in law are going to see me and such. I have my normal 'cramp' of nerves (my stomach feels like there is a gas bubble trapped in it...weird, but it always happens pre-race.) I just feel not-at-ease in my head, but I don't know why. I know a PR is not really a possibility for tomorrow. That is not pessimism or anything, but merely me being realistic about where I am at right now from a physical and mental stance. But, I put in SO MUCH this summer to this training cycle and I find myself questioning 'why?' What was the point of it all if I run another 3:30+ marathon? Sure, I love the training, but I also love seeing results. And I feel like I was so ready at my marathon in Saginaw when I ran a 3:29 without even trying and now that whole idea feels lightyears away. Keeping even a moderate pace seems so unabtainable. I know this is all part of the mental burnout I am feeling after the last 2 years, but that doesn't make the feelings any easier or less real.
So the plan is to ENJOY it. Seriously. I know lots of people say that, and I am not usually one of them to admit to not 'racing hard' but I feel like it is right for tomorrow. I have run well this training cycle. I have learned alot. It was not all for nothing. There will never be another time that I run my 10th marathon, what's more on 10-10-10. I can do it painfully, or I can love every minute. I choose the ladder.
So we will see how it goes. That's all there is to it. The one thing I have learned is it doesn't get any easier- even on the 10th time. There will always be self doubt. There will always be the uncertainty. There will always be the anticipation of pain. But the thing that does get easier with time is KNOWING that I can deal with it. That I can push through. I've run a marathon with a stress fracture (my 1st). I've run my second in 90 degree heat. I've run Boston/Bayshore within 5 weeks of each other- 2 years in a row. I ran Saginaw at the end of a 100 mile week. I'm not saying these things to 'toot my own horn' but rather as a reminder of adversity that I have come through. This should be easy then... ;)
Anyways, the weather man just said it would be 80+ degrees during the marathon and hense no PR's should be expected. He was also comparing this year to the year of 'death' ie 2007, ie the last time I ran Chicago. I always say how much I love the heat! Now it is time for me to put my money where my mouth is!
See y'all on the other side.....Peace. Love. Running.