Monday, October 29, 2007

It's so close I can taste it...

Hi all. I'm still here! Sorry I haven't been updating... It's been a frustrating past several weeks as long-run training has gotten thrown off track. I felt like my entire training unraveled to the point where I don't think I'm ready for Sunday. I'll do it because I've come so far, but frankly I'm very nervous at this point and hope that the adrenaline will carry me through.

Where do I even begin? Let's just say that after the 20-mile high, I came crashing down the next week without being able to squeeze in a long run. So 16 miles gone. Pft! Screw up #1.

The two long runs after that I was only able to accomplish 15 and 12. There goes the 20 and 15 I was supposed to meek out. One was my own fault for not getting enough rest during the week. My freelance picked up incredibly and there was no avoiding it.

The second was the ill-fated collision of both Central and Prospect Park being bombarded (and I mean that in a good way), by those who participated in the Breast Cancer walk. Of course, it was bad for me. I could barely walk with all those people on the paths, let alone run! Too many people, bikes, wheelchairs, skate boards, dogs, etc. I tried in vain to run (as did a number of other people), but it was just too much frustration of trying to weave in and out of such a large crowd. I even tried to go off the main path, but the other paths were either too rocky or eventually lead right back into the main path. I gave up after 12 miles and 4 hours.

This past Sunday I had a 5 mile marathon tune up race. I thought about trying to get in my last 20, but I think it would have been overkill physically even though mentally I felt like I needed to do it. And because it's been a while since I've ran such a short race I finished at faster than marathon pace, which gave me a personal best, but it wasn't exactly good for what I needed to do. After the race, I grabbed an apple, and continued on for another 5... And then that's when I realized... There's something not quite right about my right ankle and knees! I got so scared that I hurt myself. After 10 miles, I went home and just did everything I can to rest my legs. Kept my feet up, soaked, iced, tylenol, you name it. I'm so scared that my knees will give halfway into the race. Trying not to let me nerves get the best of me, but at this point all I can think about is just getting to the starting line!

It's weird because I feel like I have all these emotions running through me that only you guys can understand. Everyone else is like, "you're crazy," but to me, it represents 5 years of getting to this point, from quitting smoking to joining Road Runners to making a commitment to do the required races. 5 years of New Year's resolutions to get here... and I'm down to my last few days....

So any final words of wisdom? Things I need to do this week? Things I need to forget?


Susan said...

I applaud you, my friend! You have been EXCELLENT LISA for five years! (FYI, I have been Excellent Susan for five years, also - you just reminded me.)

I think you'll do just fine in the marathon. I think a slew of emotions runs through us all right before a race, regardless of our training. Even though I am five weeks out from my race and have only missed 2 longruns, I am nervous! It's just that we want to succeed so badly... and we put way way way too much pressure on ourselves.

I say you should get some good rest this week. VISUALIZE yourself running a good race all week long. That should do it! :)

Annette said...

Hi Lisa,

I found your blog through Susan.

I don't know your history, but from everything I have read, and everything I experienced just before my first marathon in Chicago a couple of weeks ago, I think it is perfectly normal for you to be going through these emotions. I know I was suddenly getting all kind of aches and pains, and even imagined I was getting sick at one point.
Rest as much as you can this week and you will be fine during the marathon.
I have a couple of friends who are also doing NY.. I will be sending lot's of positive vibes to all of you!!!!

peter said...

Uh, Lisa, is this your 1st marathon? Everyone always gets a little crazy about their routine, or disruption of it, in the three weeks before their first marathon. It's classic. But you're almost through this normal phase! A 20, a 15, a 12 and a 10 are a good leadup to a marathon. It's a taper that allows rest for your legs. Just do your best on Sunday, don't start too fast (adrenaline will NOT carry you 26 miles) and run steady and you'll do fine! I'm not the best marathoner but I have never run more than a 22 and a 16, once for each, before any marathon. The rest were shorter runs. I did a sub-four hour NYCM last year, including walking several times during the last 5 miles. Sunday will give you a benchmark for future marathons, no matter how it turns out. I think you'll do just fine and be awed afterwards by the experience! Good luck! And congrats already on your lifestyle.

CewTwo said...

You know, I haven't been there and I haven't done that. I do look at the inspiration that you are providing for me.

You're not running to inspire em, I know. You8 are your own inspiration. Frankly, that is my inspiration!

I think you'll do fine!

ShirleyPerly said...

Lisa, you'll be fine. Many first-time marathoners do only one 20-miler in training. The best thing you can do is get to the start line as healthy as possible. It's quite normal to get weird aches & pains during your taper; try not to stress too much. My two pieces of advice would be not to do/try anything new on race day (or the day before) and to start out slow. Best of luck!!

Susan said...

I agree with everyone; DO NOT start out too quickly!

You are going to do GREAT!!!!

ShirleyPerly said...

One more thing: Put your name in big letters on the front of your shirt.

Susan said...

Is there a way to track you during your race? I'd love to be cheering you on from afar!