Friday, October 5, 2012

Pre-Marathon Thoughts

It's almost here - only two sleeps away and the day I've been training all this time for will finally be here. I added up all of the mileage I've put in to training for this marathon...over 800 miles...117+ hours of running and 2 pairs of shoes (halfway through a 3rd pair). Every workout I've had during this time has had a specific purpose it's here.

I've been asked by several people what my goal time is. Honestly - I don't know what to expect. I feel unbelievably blessed that my first marathon is going to be run in almost ideal conditions (mid-40s, cloudy, very little wind). I'm going to do my best to run the first 5 miles or so at a very easy pace (7:45-8:00/mile) and then see what happens after that. In an ideal world, I would finish somewhere in the 3:10 to 3:20 range, but I haven't the foggiest clue if that's realistic. My longest training run was 18 miles which I did twice, so I don't know how my body and mind will respond once I get past the 20 mile mark. I would love to say that I'll be able to gut it out and finish strong, but I have no idea until I get there.

The best part of the race isn't even the race itself - it's the fact that my brother and sister-in-law are running in it and that I will have my wife (Leslie), my parents and my sister all cheering us on along the race. In addition to that, Leslie's parents, my boss and one of my friends from church will also be along the course - plus Andrea with her "Do Epic Shit" sign - it's going to be a madhouse downtown.

I'm really excited at this point, I'm excited to experience the marathon for the first time, I'm excited for my brother who is going to give a sub-3:00 marathon another try (I think he's gonna do it this time), I'm excited to run another race through the streets of a big city (there's nothing quite like it), I'm excited to see how everyone else does in their respective marathons, I'm excited to take a short break from running after it's all over, and I'm excited to see what I'm capable of.

This has been kind of a crazy year - it started off with a way-too-aggressive training plan that resulted in a 2-month bout of ITBS, then my first half-marathon in NYC, a hot summer of training and my 2nd half marathon in Chicago and now this. It's been a (mostly) fun journey. I'll provide a full race-recap here once it's all over. Thank you to everyone on DailyMile and otherwise who has encouraged me along the way - I really couldn't have done it without your support -- especially my wife Leslie who rode alongside me on her bike during countless long runs, suffering from a sore crotch because of all the long and slow biking. Thank you!! I hope to do you proud.

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