Taper time!

T – 10 days until marathon day. Obviously I am excited and nervous. No different to normal.

I have to apologise for not posting very often on this site lately. There have been a number of things going on. Firstly, my work life is exceptionally busy which is a great thing, however, creates time pressures. These flow into my ability to keep everything ticking over in my home life and we have had some extra demands there this year as well.  Totally ridiculous that I added marathon training to the mix. But I do love it.

There is also a private facebook page for all of us that are training via Mary-Katherine Brooks Fleming’s heart rate training program. I have posted there regularly and have had the immense pleasure of being part of an amazing tribe of mother runners. If this kind of virtual group training appeals to you, I can highly recommend the Train Like A Mother (or Father) heart rate challenge. I guess I have satisfied my desire to pour out my feelings and thoughts on marathon training through that medium and have neglected this blog. I will remedy that!!

not-going-to-staySo, where am I at? I am a week and a half out from race day. I have run five to six days a week for the last 20 weeks. Missed only about two runs and have no sign of over training or running injuries. That, my friends, is absolute magic. The magic of MK and heart rate training. I have had to put my ego aside over and over again to deal with the slow paces that I run. I have also had to put aside my favourite winter boots as they are getting tight on my newly bulked up calves. I have re-evaluated my nutrition, increased my meditation, learnt how to assess perceived effort and that small things add up to big things. I am #winningatlife.

good-and-badDuring the course of the training I have undertaken Enhanced Anaerobic Threshold runs which provide some interesting pace and heart rate numbers. I have plotted these into an excel spreadsheet, digested them, and tomorrow morning I get to chat to my coach about paces for race day and how to run a smart race. I cannot wait to hear her perspective.

Do I feel that I have a BQ in me?

Yes.

Do I feel that I can execute it on race day?

Hmm… there are too many factors out of my control such as the conditions and whether I will get a good night’s sleep. Then there is my inability to hold strong and let myself off the hook during the race. It is a very old pattern and one that keeps me from pushing. I think it comes from being an asthmatic – if it feels hard, then stop. When I ran some of my race pace miles I let myself off the hook. It is ok if I run 5:25s rather than 5:15s as you have to think about how you will feel after running them for an hour… etc etc.

So the question really is, how bad do I want it?

Which then always leads me to, why do I run marathons? What do I get from them? What are they really about?

Feeling strong is always the first thought. Quickly followed by, they are something just for me. I also feel incredibly fortunate that I CAN run, that I can have a hobby and recreation time. Running makes me happy and more happiness in this world cannot be a bad thing.

Why would I like a BQ?

It is a romantic notion really. To run the infamous Boston Marathon. To have a time goal that puts you in touch with your cohort. I cannot imagine the atmosphere of such a race.

I am sitting in a space of gratitude, of excitement and the pressure that I place on myself. No one else cares what time I run my marathon. As Dimity McDowell mentioned in her blog recently:

pressure-is-a-privilege

I do feel privileged. And a little self absorbed. LOL

Dealing with the craziness of taper I am reminding myself.

My body is fit, my mind is strong, the hay is in the barn.

There is nothing more I can do. I will tell the truth on race day when all will be revealed. And in the big scheme of things, it is just a matter of running a long way for no reason whatsoever. Many think I am crazy, but for those of you who are part of my tribe, you know why we run…..

In my dreams I am a Kenyan.