All aboard the crazy train! Yup. I went crazy this week. Each day bringing a new emotion and not at all predictable. It was awesome.
Here I was, boldly being excited for my first marathon for most of the week. I was counting down the days; each day bringing a little more excitement than the one before. With each tweet of a marathon sign, grandstand picture or amazing blog post I could feel my emotions running wild.
I felt nothing but pure excitement building and had tons of crazy good emotional moments; tearing up just thinking about finally running my first marathon. It was pretty much all I could think about this week. Then Thursday came and, BOOM, it was like I got hit by a
crazy freight train. I felt uncertain again and emotional in a way I hadn’t felt since returning to running post-muscle spasm. The Coach assured me it was just the taper crazies and that there were likely 45,000 other people having the same crazy thoughts that I was having. She assured me what I was going through was totally normal and that I was definitely not alone. What a week!
Monday: Yoga + PT
I walked into physical therapy, with a huge grin on my face, ecstatic to share the news that I had successfully run 22 miles over the weekend. I was back on track to run this marathon.
Tuesday: 6 miles
My physical therapist cleared me for the tempo run I had on my schedule, although she slowed down the pace at which I was originally supposed to run. She told me I could do two easy, warm up miles, three miles at 9:30-10:00 min/mile and one easy, cool down mile, as long as the Coach agreed. The Coach and I were elated over this news as we thought I’d only be cleared for easy runs until the marathon.
Tempo miles: 9:33, 9:33, 9:29
I definitely had to fight for it but this run went so much better than expected. After all, I hadn’t run a tempo run in over three weeks.
Wednesday: Yoga + PT
I was cleared for either yoga or elliptical-ing for Wednesday. The Coach felt better about yoga and giving my legs a break post-22 mile long run and my first tempo run in weeks. I listened. Obviously.
Thursday: 6 miles
My schedule called for 5 easy miles and the last mile at 8:30. The physical therapist and I agreed that 8:30 was probably too fast and she told me to aim for closer to 9:00. I blame running past the grandstands and the NYC marathon finish line for my 8:31 last mile.
I felt great! It was the fastest mile I’d run in weeks; since the Fifth Avenue Mile. I would later live to regret this super speedy mile. As the day went on I became tighter and tighter. It wasn’t good. I called my physical therapist in tears and she reassured me it was only from the fast last mile and I would be fine with a little extra heat and stretching. So, although I was still freaking out inside, I put my trust in her and my faith in something greater and went home and did just as I was told.
I was so relieved to have a rest day on Friday and a chance to relax that tight muscle that left me feeling certifiably crazy and in tears on Thursday. I woke up, feeling better, and realized there were only had a single digit number of days left to go. What? How did we get here so fast?
Saturday: 3 easy miles
My schedule called for a three easy, shakeout miles before my last long run on Sunday. I met up with Allison to run the lower loop of Central Park together. It was a breezy, crisp morning and the cold and sun felt great. There were so many people finishing up the last of their long runs before the marathon next week. The park felt alive. This is my favorite time of year to run in Central Park.
Sunday: 8 miles
As part of my last long run before the marathon, I signed up to run the New York Road Runners Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff 5M race with some of my favorite people. My only goal was to run around long run pace and have fun with my friends. I met up with Kim, Steph and Kara to run a mile warm-up to the start where we met up with Abby and Allison. Abby and Steph were racing this one and started up ahead of us. This was Steph’s first race back after her injury. I screamed, “Head Up. Wings Out” at her and she was off. Kim, Kara, Allison and I all ran the race together. It was so much fun just running with my friends, no goal, no pressure, and at a relaxed pace. Sometimes races are just more fun that way. Plus, Kara and I were saving ourselves to run ALL THE MILES next weekend. We finished along the marathon route and I, of course, got the chills as we passed the grandstands and the NYC Marathon finish line. I couldn’t help but think that I would be there in one short week and on my way to becoming a marathoner for the first time. It was exhilarating and perhaps propelled me across the finish line at a sub-9 min/mile pace. Kara, Steph and I had two more miles to run, so we said goodbye to our friends, and made our way back towards the East Side.
Total Mileage: 23 miles
I really can’t believe it. I’ve almost made it. Only SEVEN DAYS stand between me, Frank Sinatra, and the start line of my very first marathon.
It’s an indescribable feeling! It still doesn’t feel real to me. Like, am I really going to do this? Am I really going to run my first marathon?
I’m waiting for the nerves. They haven’t arrived yet. The marathon nightmares? They have definitely arrived. 17 weeks down. ONE WEEK TO GO!
When did you start getting nervous before your first marathon?
Do you have any last minute tips or words of wisdom? All are welcome.
For those who have run the NYC Marathon, when did you listen to music?
If you’re cheering next Sunday at the NYC Marathon, let me know where you’ll be!