This is it guys. It all comes down to this. Just five days stand between me and the start line of the Top of Utah Marathon.
It's kind of hard to believe. Back in January I sat down one night and, all at one time, registered for the Salt Lake Running Company's training group, the Salt Lake Half, the Utah Valley Half (my A Game half for the year) and the Top of Utah Marathon (to avenge my standing PR at this distance). I've been training since the first week of February. In that span, I've missed only 2 Saturday long runs--one because I was sick, and one because I was in Paris. I've felt great about this. Training for nearly 8 straight months is a first.
A bigger first came this past week, though, when I cleared the 1000 mile mark for the year. I've never exceeded 1000 miles in a year, let alone by mid-September. I'm proud to finally join the 1000 mile club!
It's looked like a whole lot of long run miles and a lot of easy miles, and some other stuff mixed in.
Yes, there have been mornings that I've wanted to stay in bed. There have been days that I've been really, really tired and wanted a break from it. There have been plenty of times I've caught myself doing calf stretches in public and realizing that people were staring. But the effort put in has been worth it. I can't describe the adrenaline rush that came the day I sub-1:50'ed the Utah Valley half. Or the day I ran a 6:24 mile, having absolutely no idea I could do that until I tried. Or learning to nail my long runs. Or how great it's been to make friends, real friends, through running.
My next post will be the race recap. Heading into race day, I'm feeling excited, nervous, and prepared. I know that there is no certainty in the marathon. Anything can, and does, happen. But I'm hopeful. And strong. And thrilled to have taken this journey.
I'll leave you with the pre-race stats:
My race mantra (thank you Coach Mike, as always!): Run easy, run free
B--sub-4:10 (this was my goal at Cleveland, which in case you've forgotten, was an epic failure fueled by an epic lack of appropriate fueling, although it's still my standing PR)
Fueling plan: I'm using a pre-race fueling guide I got from RW a few years ago (my shopping cart looked ridiculous today, btw). During the race, I'll Gu every 6, and use an electrolyte tablet in my water every 10ish.
Pacing plan: Taken care of, as always, by pace bands
Expected weather: Very cool at the start line (maybe as low as 40), warning up to maybe the 60s by the finish.
The countdown is on. Wish me luck!!