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?