Cadbury Mini Eggs, I’m ready for you to be gone now.
Remember how I’ve been talking nonstop about my obsession with these little gems and essentially all Easter candy since it came on the shelves around oh February 15?
Yea, I’m over it. It was fun while it lasted Mini Eggs, but this has gotten ridiculous. How can I move onto all of my other desserts when your endless bags are hanging around all the time?
FINE. I’ll finish them. But I am admittedly excited for these addictive little chocolates to be out of my house and off the shelves of every check-out line I come across.
Okay, glad we got through that. Hi, how are you?
I hope your weekend was splendid, and your week has started off great. Unless you haven’t seen one news source or been on the internet in the past 24 hours, I’m pretty sure everyone is well aware that the Boston Marathon was the talk of the town yesterday, in all its sweltering hot glory.
I am always impressed by this race and the amazing athletes it draws every year. However, I don’t think I’ve ever been more impressed by the grit and determination during the Boston Marathon more than I was yesterday. The heat added a whole new level of intensity to the already difficult miles ahead, and it forced all the runners to really show off their willpower. I was blown away by the resilience of all the runners, and I think everyone out there proved just why they were worthy of racing this historical route.
It made me even more eager to get my own BQ…..whensoever that may be 🙂
Once again, I am amused at the timing of the Universe and the ways in which it teaches us about ourselves. Of course, I know most things happen based on our own preparation and planning (or lack thereof), but sometimes I can’t help but think there is some cunning trickster (most of the time named Murphy’s Law) working endlessly to ensure that what we think we know isn’t always the case.
That being said, let’s go back to Friday’s post. If you missed out, it was full of reflections as to why marathon training is anything but a walk in the park. It’s challenging, it’s trying, and it does a sure-fire job of teaching us some humbling lessons. My biggest point in the post, and perhaps my greatest realization about my own training, is that running isn’t actually the hard part. Even when the runs are hard, they eventually end, and I know that the effort, no matter how brutal, will eventually land me in a better space, physically.
So, that post happened. And then came Saturday’s training run—22 miles, my last really long run before tapering begins in preparation for May 6th. And, to put it simply, every single one of those miles felt fantastic. I had some luck on my side—the day was pristine, and I had slept in one position through the entire night—but otherwise I was so pleasantly surprised by how great this run felt. My pace was very consistent (avg. 8:25 miles) and I was in one of those “can’t-stop-me-now” rhythms that we always hope for in a run. I didn’t wear my headphones for nearly 15 of the 22 miles, and I had a great time listening to my footsteps, the chirping birds, and the sunshine.
(I know you can’t hear sunshine, but sometimes…it almost feels like you can, you know?)
I practiced race-related things, including really opening it up at the end. In the last 2ish miles, I brought my pace down to half-marathon pace, and it felt really good to visualize and practice pushing it on tired legs. I finished feeling great, and I couldn’t shake the thought that I actually wanted…to run a bit more??
This feeling, along with the success of the final long run, helped me internalize one very confident thought:
I don’t know if I ever felt this kind of satisfaction about my training during my first marathon (probably because I didn’t know what to expect), but after Saturday I was very decidedly confident in my preparation for race day. This sense of “readiness” triggered a different emotion as well, one that hasn’t left me since it first nestled into my brain this weekend: determination.
All my competitive thoughts have overwhelmed my forethought about Tacoma, and I’m ready to crush it. I’m truthfully not sure about what kind of time to anticipate, and I’m still planning my exact race strategy, but what I do know is that I’m ready to give every little bit I have into this race. I trust my stamina and training, and now I’m really just ready to ignite all my competition and racing instincts.
This is different than how I felt the first time around. Sure, I wanted to do well and I definitely had time goals (I can’t not…it’s a problem), but this upcoming race has me really hungry and filled with ruthless anticipation. It feels good, and hopefully all this psyched/amped/animalistic energy can contain itself and only get stronger over the next two and a half weeks.
Tacoma has now become my prey, and I’m ready to hunt it down.
Be afraid T-town, and readers, please don’t be scared by my predatory remarks.
Today really solidified my “readiness” feelings, and I’m glad because I was a little worried that Saturday was just an affect of the excessively large amount of tortellini and bread I had the night before.
I wanted to get in one last “tempo run” before I really settle into taper mode. Mainly for my own confidence, and not so much for training purposes. Now, my version of a “tempo run” really just means that I want to finish a run in a certain period of time, and whichever pace I choose to divvy out over those miles is up to me. In a nutshell, go fast—and don’t stop going fast.
I went on my normal Tuesday-10-mile route, and ended in 80 minutes flat. Very pleased with it, and my greatest intent with this run was to practice pushing really hard at the end when I was already wiped. So, despite feeling very tired and worked by the end of it all, it was great to again mentally conjure the feeling of pushing through the pain.
This run sealed the deal in terms of training prep, and now I’m excited to coast along the tapering wave.
So, please send along all your stress-free, injury-free tapering thoughts! I, of course, will be back in with more reports along the way. Also, I’m now taking wagers for the remaining lives of my toenails. My 4th toenail on BOTH feet are nearing death…black and beautiful, and I’m thinking it will be a miracle if I make it to the start line on May 6th with both in tact. Attractive stuff over here people.
Have a great week!