The big day has arrived, at long last: the training runs are behind me; my body, for better or for worse, is as ready as I could make it, and my mind as well. This last week of taper has not been what I expected, but since nothing else has been what I expected, why should this be any different? Instead of being a nervous wreck, I was so busy with the rest of my life, it barely registered that I was only days away from THE RACE – if it works out I may try this approach again! So let’s look at the week that nearly wasn’t 🙂
Sunday 1-12: Rest day – no activity A final breath of rest and recuperation, before a new week begins. The fever had not returned, and I actually felt very nearly normal; but I knew that my body needed a full day of rest and eating, to replace all I had missed in the last week, or at least as much as possible. Not running was making me a little stir crazy, along with the rumblings of anxiety: “Am I really running a marathon in a week? Am I ready, or is this going to be a crash-and-burn for the history books?” (For what it’s worth, I knew that wasn’t true…there have been some truly epic occurrences in my history – I would have to go a long way to top them!) On a happier note, I was able to pick up all my free Skechers Ambassador gear from the Marathon Committee: a pair of GoRun3 shoes; a half-zip pullover; short sleeve tech tee; running shorts; a nice backpack, and a Chevron gift card – all very appreciated! I’ll be wearing the whole outfit on Saturday, for the 5K and expo, and a photo shoot with all the Ambassadors after the race.
Monday 1-13: Rest day – no activity The beginning of another work week , and with it, a whole new set of changes! I was just barely finding my way into my new role as supervisor of the piping department; the summary of the job I did last week (and the report I gave to the “suits”) apparently made a far more significant impact than I had imagined: this morning I arrived to find two superintendents and two other foreman waiting at the job trailer; they came bearing the news that I had now become the sheetmetal foreman, with responsibility for the piping and finished being shifted to the other two, because my previous supervisor was no longer employed! So I get to start over again, the second time in ten days…I wouldn’t recommend it, but this is certainly one way to keep pre-race anxiety at bay 🙂
Tuesday 1-14: Easy run – 3.1 miles, 35:00 Having done nothing for a week, I set out today with a single goal in mind: try out my new shoes, and decide if I was running in them this weekend. I realize that one short run is hardly sufficient to measure for a marathon, but that was all I had…and some is better than none, I suppose. I will be doing a more detailed review in the near future, but my initial impression: these are high-quality running shoes, and the removable inserts (which raise the heel drop from 2mm to 4mm) give a unique degree of customization that I found very satisfying; they made the cut, and I look forward to doing quite a few miles in them!
Wednesday 1-15: Rest day – no activity I really wanted to get out there and run today, just to help stay loose and feel a lot more prepared, but with the new position at work come new responsibilities: a problem came up at the very end of the work day, and I had to stay over a couple of hours to deal with it – so much for my plans.
Thursday 1-16: Rest day – no activity As we drew closer to end of the week, I forced one concession from my job: I took off a couple of hours during the morning and went for my first ever deep tissue massage; I was amazed that I was able to schedule one this week at all, but over and over again things have been coming together for me, and I am certainly not going to take a gift like that for granted! The massage was every thing I expected: excruciatingly painful and intensely satisfying, all at the same time 🙂
Friday 1-17: Rest day – no activity I hate adding anything to the stress of race day, so I made time to get by packet pickup after work. I have to say this: Houston’s race organizers have this part down to a science! My final confirmation email included a QR code that I could bring up on my phone, to be scanned by the volunteers; this eliminates a lot of fumbling around with paperwork, and it’s eco-friendly too! There were hardly any lines, and I had both bibs in under 2 minutes; both gear check bags and participant shirts in less than five; and was able to exchange both shirts for a smaller size (they ran larger than I am used to) in less than one minute! It was near the end of the day, so the expo was already closing down, and I decided to wait and see the show on Saturday after the 5K. Not too shabby at all, for a system designed to accommodate 5000 runners in one race, and 25,000 in the other two!
Saturday 1-18: Race – ABB 5K I went into the race with the most upside-down challenge I have ever faced: to do my best not to run too fast! I briefly entertained the idea of walking this course, just to make sure I didn’t burn myself out, but in the end I ran a slow, steady trot for the most part – toward the end the music playing along the course got into my blood, and I ran the last mile pretty quickly; but I will get into that more next week, when I do the complete race weekend recap – I want some time to sort my impressions and give you a good picture of the event as a whole; I love my city, and this race is Houston putting on its best face; I want to be sure that comes across for you!
Total for this week: 2 runs, 6.2 miles
Total for January: 8 runs, 20.4 miles; #runthisyear goal 1.6% (32.6/2014 km)
Living Water fundraising to date: $30.00
Tomorrow marks a milestone for me, the achievement of a years’ worth of planning, training, and hoping and dreaming as well. I have a good feeling about it – I put in the work, I ran the miles, I ate well, I slept well, and I got my mind right along the way. There is nothing else I can do to make or break the day, so I can just go to bed, wake up in the morning, and let it be whatever it will be – and there is great peace of mind in that, let me tell you! Tune in again for the blow-by blow, or step-by step, if you wish…and then we will begin to look forward, as I shift my training towards the next set of goals: a trail ultra in April, and Spartan races in May, with a handful of shorter races along the way. Here’s to the future, and to having you by my side – I hope you make it!
Thanks to everyone who has been supporting me along this journey. I may have been able to do it without you, but I’m so grateful I didn’t have to!
What suggestions do yo have about things you’d like to see or hear as we move forward?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments!