Boston is just over a week away – April 21 is quickly approaching! How am I preparing for Boston?…..
As the big race draws near, I am certainly getting excited, but I also wonder, have I done enough? am I ready for this? Running at 5:30am today, I had the pre-marathon ‘Run of DOUBT’. My legs felt tired and heavy, and the pace felt quick even though it was only 4:25/km. How will I be able to go even quicker, I wondered? My target marathon pace is 4:15/km — how will I do that for 42.2km, if my ‘easy run’ at 4:25/km felt so hard?
Taper Time: In the past weeks, I increased to higher mileage than I have ever run before, but it’s now time to taper. I ran over 80km for four weeks, with one week at 97kms(!), and I am really feeling the fatigue of high mileage. I have to remind myself that the fact that I am tired means I have trained hard. This is good! I have stressed my body, and now it is time to allow myself to recover. There is time for my tired muscles to repair. This weekend my long run will be a mere 14km. I won’t be doing any more hard speed work; instead I’ll do a 6km ‘mini-marathon’ at my target pace on Tuesday, and then a couple of stretch out runs for the rest of the week. That’s it. Instead of getting antsy, I’m going to remind myself that, this week, resting is more important than running.
Focusing on What I have done Right: The hard work is done, and I need to mentally focus on all that I did right. That means no second guessing what I could have done better! Any insight into better training strategies will have to be tucked away for my next marathon. For now, I am satisfied that I did all that I could do to prepare, while juggling family and work commitments. I feel especially good that I ran higher mileage and ran more intervals than my last marathons.
Focusing on Recovery: I will enjoy a massage to work through tired muscles this week. Stretching, Rolling and Yoga are on my agenda – activities I rarely make enough time for. Time also for Epsom salts baths to work out waste products from stressed muscles.
Getting Organized: Boston has adjusted many of their regulations due to the unfortunate events of last year. This means no bags allowed out to the Athletes Village and Start Line. Goodwill, here come all the runners….time to purchase warm disposable clothing! I could be sitting in the village for 2-3 hours. It will will cool first thing – the long range weather prediction is for a low of 4 degrees and a high of 9. Runners will have to abandon their warmup clothing, since they can’t check bags… which means the Thrift Stores of Boston are about to enjoy a huge influx of second-hand clothing from around the world!
Having Fun with the Family: My whole gang is coming along to Boston this time. They are all excited. We have plans to go to the Boston Aquarium and the Beach. We will also be visiting dear friends, the Glovers, from our University of Toronto days (I won’t mention how long ago that was). We are looking forward to spending time with them, and for our three children to hang out with the Glovers’ four children. The Marathon is a great excuse to get together. We will have fun and experience new adventures together as a family.
Listening to the Encouragement of Others: James and the kids are so supportive. Elijah tells me I can do anything (he heard me say that and just said, ‘You can, Mom!’). My coworkers are also all excited for me and often check in with me to see how my training is going. I am so thankful for all the people cheering for me. With that type of support, I know I will do great in the Boston Marathon.