I’m crawling out from under my rock to remind you that I’m running a marathon on Sunday. The California International Marathon to be specific.
I have completed one full marathon before. Way back in 2006. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing at the time. I could go into details, but, quite frankly, I’m too lazy. I bring it up only to say that this sort of feels like my first full marathon. And that means it’s, uh, kind of a big deal.
I’m getting more excited with each passing day. And more nervous. I feel a lot more ready than I did 6 years ago, but still not as ready as I’d like to be. My training wasn’t perfect. I skipped runs. I ran slow. I ran far fewer miles than I had originally planned. That’s what my inner critic would say anyway.
Then again, maybe my training was sort of perfect. I skipped runs, cut back on miles and ran slow because that’s what my body asked me to do. As a result, I will line up on Sunday to run 26.2 miles injury free. Just 9 and a half months after giving birth and nearly a year without running.
And I’m pretty confident the training that did happen was enough to get me to the finish line. Only thing is I’m looking for more than completion. I’ve put a lot of thought into what my goals are and here’s the end result:
1) At a bare minimum I would like to not crap my pants. You think I’m kidding here, but emergency bathroom breaks have been my Achilles heel since having a baby. (And this coming from someone with a history of actual Achilles trouble.)
2) And while we’re on the subject of emergency bathroom breaks… I don’t want one. Sure, I’d prefer a port-a-potty to my pants. But, really, I’d rather just not have to go during the entirety of the race.
3) Because that shit’s (pun intended) just going to slow me down. And I will not be happy if this takes me more than 5 hours.
4) Really, I’d like to finish in 4:30. That’s my A goal. The calculators tell me this is possible. So I’m putting it out there for all the internet to see. Truthfully, I don’t really think it is. I’m going to try anyway.
5) Hopefully attempting #4 doesn’t result in the crash and burn. Because running a fairly even race is my final goal. This is where I need some help from all you seasoned marathoners out there. How do you like to FEEL at various stages of the race? Somehow I need to figure out I’m pushing too hard and adjust before it’s too late.
Also – to all the CIM veterans – any other tips?