Saturday, April 21, 2012

Last long run before my 1st marathon

So this morning I had my husband drop me off at the start line for my upcoming Cox Providence marathon.  I am now 2 weeks out - May 6th!  It was time for the final long run and I wanted to run the race from the top.

I made two mistakes even before I started...I forgot to apply sunscreen and I forgot to take off my extra shirt before my husband drove away.  The shirt was around my waist within 9 minutes.  That seems to be my warm-up time.  If you don't know how long it takes you to get warmed up pre-race you should test it.  1 mile and I am ready to go!

I was doing fine until the 12.5 mile mark, when being the polite runner that I am, I jumped off the road and into the yard to allow the 2 passing cars more room on the road.  It only took one stride for me to hook a root and superman my way into a fully prone position.  There was a split second and no time to think about it.  Interestingly enough I hit the ground first with my water bottle in my right hand.  I road that thing down like a float plane landing on its pontoon.  That bottle saved my body!  I did end up with a bruise on my knee and a scrape on my other hand, but all in all I was in great shape.  The dog walker and the home owner were very concerned.  They had just witnessed a full blown belly flop and wanted to know if I had broken anything.  Miraculously I was essentially unharmed.  All I could think was get up, clean yourself off, and get running.

I am as much of a mental runner as I am a physical runner.  That is why I wanted to take the course from the start line.  I wanted to know how my body was going to react to the course at each rise and fall and at every twist and turn.  There has been a course change due to construction that will not be completed in time and it seems to have quite a few people concerned.  So my plan was to run as far as the hill that has been added after mile 20.  Interestingly enough as I approached that hill all I could think was that it was nothing after the 20 miles I had already run.  That was a pretty good feeling!  Something that I can really use on race day in my mental confidence column.  The farthest I have gone in a training run is 21.25, today was a fraction off at 21.15.  I don't know how I will finish those last 5 miles, but I know that after 21 I will not let myself down.  One foot in front of the other.  The final 5 is nothing in comparison to the 21 already finished.  I know I will be hurting and out of steam, but I also know I will get it done!

For those of you who have already done a full marathon, what are your thoughts on the final 5-6 miles?  Did any of you train beyond 20 miles?  That seems to be the common max training distance that everyone throws around.  I hope race day is a little cooler than it was today.  I was seriously sweating the whole way.  At least there was a cool breeze coming up the bay.  The water stops will be a huge help.  I will carry my own Clif shot blocks, but they can supply the water.  Now I just need to taper without feeling out of shape and heavy.  I am thinking of shorter runs more often.  Any thoughts with 2 week to go?

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