taper ramblings

I'm at that rambling taper time, two weeks out from Vermont City Marathon. It's my second marathon, but first one with a time goal. I ran Chicago in 2009, but I was so injured if it had been a local race I would have skipped it. But my plane ticket was purchased, hotel room booked and bib ready for pick-up. I am happy I ran it, it was an amazing experience. But after the marathon I took over a year off from running. Actually I quit. But we all know how that ended.
all I can remember is how bad my hips hurt and drafting off that chick in purple
marathoning is beautiful. i should really find this outfit...
I'm 2 weeks away from my second marathon. If all goes to plan I'll PR by over 35 minutes. But Chicago showed me that the marathon is a race like no other. The day can bring anything. At Chicago I  ran within a comfortable aerobic zone but I remember feeling a very abrupt change after mile 21. That brush with the wall stayed with me. I know things can go from great to uh-oh, fast. Especially, I imagine, when your foot is firmly on the gas pedal.

I have set an A, B and C goal. The C goal is don't walk, quit, land in the med tent or poop my shorts. I think that's most people's C goal. There's a reason it's been 4 years since my 1st marathon, it's a big scary race. You can't fake a marathon. You dedicate months of training to this one window of time. And over the hours you race you get down to the bottom of your barrel. You empty the tank. There is nothing more raw than watching runners finish a marathon.

As I approach the taper phase of this ride, I have a mix of excitment, respect and sheer terror. The work is done. There is no sense in looking back and wondering if the training was perfect, if I should have done more core and lifting or strides or hills... it's done. Just like owning my first real goal in the half I know I did good work, that I could have done more, less, better or worse... but either way it's logged in my journal and after the race I can pour over it and find the solid work and the gaps. Now is the time to look ahead to the starting line, blinders on.

Most of what I feel is excitement. Because Chicago also showed me the magic of marathon. The sense of accomplishment when you cross that finish line. The way 26.2 miles levels the playing field and brings runners of every speed together as a tribe. That's what I can't wait to jump into again, whatever the day brings. Anything can happen. 

Comments

  1. The best thing you can do is show up at the start line healthy, and you've trained smart - being slightly underdone is way better than being in any way overtrained!

    I look forward to seeing what you can achieve :)

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  2. Yup, that C goal sounds familiar! :) It's been so fun following your marathon journey this spring and I'm super excited for you! You're gonna rock it!

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  3. The best part about Chicago is that they literally don't let you leave the finishing chute without a beer. We know how to celebrate here in the Windy City. :) Sending positive thoughts your way on #2!!

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  4. See ya in two weeks at VCM!!!

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  5. The marathon is a crazy race and you are right to respect it! Sounds like you have a great mindset going into the race nad you will do great! I love that you said C goal is not to poop your pants...ugh that is my WORST nightmare especially after seeing a girl who had pooped herself at mile 20 of my first marathon. Yikes!

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  6. I can't believe this is only your second marathon, I thought you ran those things every month :). Well regardless you are GOING TO set an awesome new PR and I'm sure you'll look amazing doing it.

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  7. Hey future roomie! You are gonna completely p'wn VT!! Let your recent workouts/awesome half give you the confidence to know you can. I wish I was in top shape (I have been struggling with Achilles Tendonitis this past Spring) cause then we coulda tried to work together to get you to your goal time :/ I'll be trying to trail you though!

    Having run both a few mid 250's and a few sub 250's, I can offer you this: either pace between those two, it all hurts the same after!

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  8. Hope you crush it...and then some. And ideally, have a really good time along the way. Best of luck!

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  9. I found your blog via a recommendation and I'm so glad I did. It looks like I came at just the right time. I have never run a marathon myself but I can only imagine the dedication you have put forth. I look forward to hearing how it goes in VT. Sad, I'm leaving the upstate NY area as you venture over towards that general direction. I'd much rather be in Seattle though ha. :-)

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  10. I am friends with Allison whom you ran with. I am sure you will do great in Vermont. It sounds like your training has been great and you are healthy and ready. Best of luck!

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