Sunday, April 8, 2012

One Month To Go!

Well, here we are, one month to go until the marathon. My first marathon. My first 26.2 miles. My first 42.2km. How do I feel about it, you ask? Excited. Thrilled. Restless. A hint of nervous. But mostly excited. I'm already starting to think about how I might commemorate my accomplishment. No, not counting chickens...just feeling confident and like this accomplishment is within reach.

It feels like I've been thinking about the marathon, talking about it, writing about it, for such a really long time. But in all honesty, since starting training for it, time has gone by really fast. Suddenly, there's only a month to go, and I'm feeling so close to being ready. So close, I can almost taste it.
Another post-race photo from last weekend.

When I started training, I was excited yes, but mostly unsure how it would be possible to do this. I mean, I'd never run more than a half marathon. How was I to double that distance, just like that, when a half marathon isn't exactly an easy distance? How could someone who used to carry all that extra weight and who was new to running *again* believe a marathon was within reach? I didn't even know how I was going to survive the long training run distances, especially those two 32K runs. But regardless of the doubt inside, I somehow trusted in my plan, trusted in myself, and believed in myself. And now here I am, just about ready to go. The worry of not being ready for the challenge has dissipated. I really have a lot to be proud of, even though I've not run this race yet.

I've no doubt the race will be a challenge. But I believe in the work I've done in training and I see real results in myself - in my fitness, in my attitude, and when I look in the mirror. I feel confident. And my legs actually *look* different. Weird. And I have a couple weeks of hard work to go yet, to ready myself even more then I get to taper down for the couple weeks leading up to race day. A couple more long runs, a few workouts focused on speed, then some time to let some healing happen so my legs are set for the biggest challenge of their life yet.

Last weekend's race was a good measure of readiness. I explained in my race report how it was my easiest half marathon yet, effort wise. It was a fun race, not a grueling one like races of that distance had been in the past. What was a real point of awareness was the day after the race, when I felt absolutely zero soreness or fatigue in my legs. I had several people ask me how it was possible that I could walk so well after running that race. I didn't voice what I was thinking in my head, as to not sound like some sort of running snob...."I'm about to run a marathon. If I couldn't run a half marathon comfortably by now, I'm in some trouble." In the same way it would be silly to run a 10K if you've never run a 5K comfortably. And you wouldn't consider a half marathon if a 10K was too hard. If I'm about to run a marathon, a half marathon better be comfy for me. And it is.....How snobby have I become?

And the *really* snobby (note: I don't actually think I'm snobby...I am trying to be as modest as I can. I should replace the word "snobby" with "fit"...because that's what it really is)....ok, so the really "fit" comment my mind thought through but again, my lips didn't verbalize, was "this half marathon race was my easy week". My Sunday long runs have all been more than the distance of a half marathon for some time now: 23K, 26K, 29K, 32K.... 21.1K is thus not so bad. It's all relative though. I've worked hard to get here. And if my confidence and fitness (snobbiness?)  is where it's at now, I must be just about ready.

I do have a couple more long runs to get through though. I know they won't be easy. But they are distances I've done before now, and I know with confidence founded in actual experience, that I can get through it successfully. In fact, I am positive they're going to be really fun and already have my routes planned.

So what's in store for tomorrow's run? The first 29K segment of the actual race route.

I've run most of the course in some shape or form in my lifetime. I worked at UBC for a while, lived in Kits for a while, and the seawall, well, I've run that many times - the Stanley Park segment a few times in recent weeks...But the first part of the route, I'm not really sure what to expect. It's not that I think there's going to be any major hills or "scary bits". But it's nice to be familiar, and to be able to visualize the route on race day. 

When I was readying myself for my big half marathon race last year in Victoria, I ran the first 12K of the course in preparation on one of my training runs. It made such a difference on race day to know the route so intimately and be able to predict what's coming next. So this is my hope for tomorrow's run: both physical and mental preparation for race day. And I am so very excited!


  1. How exciting that the marathon is coming up so quickly!! Good luck with the last leg of your training.

    1. I'm super excited that you are going to run the first 29km of the actual route! The weather should cooperate and I hope that you enjoy yourself more than anything. You go, girl! And you are not snobby...just fit like you said!