Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pre Race Thoughts

ORN [Obligatory Running Note]: Ran 6.2 miles in 1:00 last night. Even the cold, wind, rain, and occasional snotsicle could not kep my enthusiasm down. Oh, I may have looked stoic on the outside, but on the inside I was all like, "Now throw yo hands in the air and wave ‘em like you just don’t care! Move yo feet to pound the street. Everybody say Oh Yeah!"

Ever notice that it's impossible to get your race number pinned on straight the first time you do it? You always put it on your shirt in the exact spot you want it, attach it with the safety pins and suddenly it looks like one side is way under your arm and the other is lined up with your belly button. Safety pins must be sneaky long. I don't need to worry about crap like my number being jacked up on race morning. I don't need to worry about anything other than focusing on the race. I plan on doing as many of the little things as I can to take the stress out of race morning. The big de-stressors are getting your race packet the day before, waking up early enough, setting out all versions of race clothes the night before, along with shoes and socks, gloves, and Gu's.

This time around, I'll make a special effort to turn on Garmin (pbtn) when I first get to Charlotte. I remember how panicked* I was just minutes before the start of the Buffalo Marathon when Garmin could not locate the satelite. Panic in the form of adrenaline coursed through my veins as Garmin (pbtn) asked, "Are you indoors now?" (NO! NO! Noooo..! I am NOT indoors!! Why are you asking that?!??). Then, "Have you recently travelled hundreds of miles?"(OMG! I HAVE travelled hundreds of miles!!! What does that mean?!?!).*

How nice it's been to just re-live that moment.


This post is supposed to be about pre-race thoughts, so here they are:

I'm not worried about finishing the distance. I am worried about finishing in Boston qualifying time. For me that means starting smart, and working the middle of the race smart. There are a many reasons that starting intelligently is so difficult. Fresh legs want to run fast. Roar of the crowd. Adrenaline. Nervous Energy. I've got to have patience and confidence that I will run faster miles late in the race.

Miles 1-2
Once the race starts these are the things I'll try to remember. Slow miles at the start of the race are always faster than slow miles at the end. I've got 26.2 miles to cover. Don't waste any energy. Settle into a nice efficient rhythm as soon as possible. Hold the dogs back.

Miles 3-9
This is the second part of the first section. Focus on pace and form. Don't waste energy by being inefficent. Run Quiet. Make sure my feet are landing quietly, my breathing isn't too labored, my arms are going back and forth and that I'm holding them low. Imagine my elbows are knocking straight backwards.

Miles 10-17
Work in to goal pace during this section. Believe. I can do it. Don't give in to fears and insecurities that say, "Use it or lose it". Trust my training and plan enough not to panic and change change it midway through the race. Not that the result is a given, but trusting the plan frees me up to "work it". And if it doesn't work, at least I will learn something useful.

Miles 18 - 26.2
Focus on how I want to remember this race, and hopefully enjoy the ride. Assess how I feel. Speed up slightly and see what happens. If good at Mile 22, go for it.

Good Luck to everyone running Saturday! Thanks to everyone cheering, you guys are a tremedous help!

* In case the suspense is killing you, Garmin (pbtn) finally became operational at the 5K mark.
* Is it just me, or is does it seem weird that the word "panic" gets a "k" added to it in the past-tense?

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