With five days to go, I'm equal parts calm and terrified. Okay, maybe equal is a lie. But I'm feeling calm and terrified. And a bit excited too. But because calm isn't as exciting to discuss or read about, I'm going to discuss the fear factor.
I haven't talked much about goals because my one big time goal for the marathon is to break 3 hours. Perhaps I've said it before, but I'll say it again anyway. The thought of running a 2:xx marathon scares me shitless. I'm trying to stay calm, because I know that if I get worked up, I'll use that energy to fly through the first half, only to die in the second half. So we'll see how that plays out on Saturday morning.
Taper mode seems to turn me into a huge worrywart. Every little niggle (Aussie slang for minor ache/pain) makes me worried that it's going to turn into something major on Race Day. Which then makes me worried that my sub-3 is out of reach. But all I can do is rehab and foam rolling. You know, all of that ancillary stuff.
I also dealt with iron deficiency this training cycle (and no, I still don't have any idea what's causing the deficiency), and I know that it affected a good chunk of my runs during the second half of this training cycle. How? Paces that used to feel easy suddenly started feeling challenging. And I'd be lying if I said that didn't make me doubt whether I can achieve my goal.
I haven't done as much core and strength work as I probably should have over this training cycle. And that makes me worried that I've kissed that sub-3 goodbye. But I had my first 200-mile month during this cycle, and I lived to talk about it. And that counts for something, right?
As I type all of this, I'm telling myself that worrying about the 15,000 things that could potentially go wrong is like a rocking chair -- it'll help me bide my time, but it won't get me anywhere.
That I need to crush self-doubt. That I'm greater than the injuries that have plagued me. That I've put the miles in, have done the speed work, and what's done is done. And most importantly, that I have an incredible network of friends (real-life and social media runners) and family who believe in me, and will be cheering me on from the race course, sidelines, and across the country. And that, my friends, is how I've calmed myself down. Oh, and listening to my pre-run playlist of Kelly Clarkson, David Guetta, and the like.
My project for the next few days is to keep myself calm and relaxed. I have my pre-race massage scheduled for tomorrow (Tues), a haircut scheduled for Wed, a reunion with the lovely and fierce Erin on Fri, and a weekend at the coast with some awesome running friends. Plenty of things to smile about, right?