Thankfulness and Marathon Goals!

Good afternoon!

I hope you all have had pleasant weeks and are ready for the weekend. This week has seen a lot of ups and downs for me—mostly ups, but there were some dark spots in there, and I’m happy to say I think I’ve managed to scuttle away from them. (But don’t let the Taper Beast hear that, one whiff of calmness and he barges back in full force.) So I’m still treading lightly, paying attention to my actions and reactions, but I’m hoping I’ve exited the Crazy Land of Taper-dom and can continue merrily on my way through Nerve City and Psyched Up Forest. Both of these places, though still filled with a good deal of angst and stomach butterflies, are much more do-able than Crazy Land.

I am nervous, there is no doubt about it. I have to very deliberately and consciously get myself to focus on anything other than race day. My thoughts are consumed by race strategy, fueling, avoiding chafing, and making it through without my knee exploding. My knee is much better than when bursitis struck before, and I am confident that I can race on it, however 26.2 miles is a long way for healthy body parts, so needless to say, I’m wary for my persnickety bursa sack. Lots of stretching, icing, and Aleve-ing before then.

In other news, I SUCK at dress rehearsal runs. Apparently all my pacing abilities (limited to begin with) go completely AWOL when I’m tapering, and the whole “GO SLOW” mantra that everyone preaches so vehemently actually registers as “Go ahead and run 30 seconds faster than your GMP.” Yesterday’s 4 mile run would have looked superb in an official race, let’s just say.

Whoops. Maybe I should get a Garmin after all.

For those of you who don’t know, a dress rehearsal run is exactly like a stage dress rehearsal…you gear up in everything you’ll wear on race day to ensure nothing rubs wrong or fits weird, but mainly I think its psychological benefits are the greatest. This run got me pumped big time, and it felt good to be running in my race day attire. Also, it just felt good to be running.

BUT. The good news about this way-too-fast-taper-fail run was that it showed just how many energy reserves I’m garnering. This whole “resting” thing is actually, physiologically benefiting big time, and despite my better efforts to just rid myself of all this lovely rest yesterday, I’m hoping that this is a good sign for how I’ll feel on race day.

The weather report looks superb for Sunday so far, and now commences the time to start carb-filling and hydrating like a serious person.

Moving on, today is Friday, meaning that Friday Favorites is typically the name of the game. As I’ve done a few times, I’m going to switch Friday Favorites to recollecting some of the things I’m thankful for. This week has been filled with a lot of excitement and charged energy, and although some of it can get overwhelming, ultimately I am unbelievably grateful for it all. Many thanks to Ali for reminding us all weekly to give thanks.

And now…GRATITUDE!

I am thankful for boxes of cookies.

Time between opening package and stuffing face with cookie: .7 seconds.

Last week, my beloved friend Katie—who moved to Missoula last year and I miss TERRIBLY—sent me this glorious package of her chocolate cookies for my birthday. Now, unless you have tried these cookies, you cannot fully begin to appreciate a)how big of a deal it was to receive them and b)how kind it really was for her to send them.

These cookies ARE THE BEST. Katie has some crazy secret recipe that she has worked and reworked and the result are the most chewy, buttery, chocolatey, and I-don’t-care-how-bad-these-are-for-me cookies EVER. I lose all sense of fullness, health, and really general sense of reality when these cookies are around, and they have made up the majority of my diet since they arrived. KT, you are the best.

I am thankful for huge great danes.

WARNING: Creepy female dog photographer, stalking puppies all over West Seattle.

I am kind of afraid of great danes, but I kind of love them too. They are as large as a small pony, and it seems like they have been everywhere recently. BF, who is a big dog fanatic, is obsessed (and may have recently bought a book called Giant George which is about a 245 pound great dane who needs his own size queen bed), and recently I’ve jumped on the bandwagon. I’m not sure about owning one, but I really enjoy seeing great danes taking their owners on walks all over the place.

I am thankful for the ability to go and visit my family.

I really, really love whenever I get to go see my family. We laugh a lot, we play games, we eat, we watch Jeopardy, and we love each other. It’s a great treat to be able to go home, and I’m very thankful that I have the means and the time to be able to jet off to Colorado every so often. My next trip will be for baby boy’s graduation (sorry Scott, you will never shed that nickname), and I can’t wait. If anyone was every ready for college, it’s my brother, and not only can I not wait for him to experience college, but he’ll be going to Seattle U…a mere 10 minutes from me!! Get ready Scott, you probably won’t make any real friends.

“Sorry guys, my sister is taking me somewhere again and I can’t go to the party.”

That’s totally how it’s gonna happen.

I am thankful for people who will touch feet.

I know you are SO GLAD you have now seen my feet. Can you guess which toenail is actually completely black?

That sounded weird. And truth be told, I actually don’t have the foot paranoia that so many claim to have. But, that doesn’t mean I would ever give a stranger—or even someone I know—a pedicure. And I especially would never give myself a pedicure. I’m scared of my own feet, and I go to all the lengths I can to avoid people looking at my feet. Not only do I naturally have Fred Flintstone-width feet and awkwardly shaped pinkie toes, but the damage done to my toenails from running is somewhat horrifying. As I’ve said before, two of my toenails are close to falling off, and just about every other toe has either a blister or a callous. It’s sexy.

Moving on. I never get pedicures, literally ever, except for right before big races. For some reason back when I ran my first half, I decided to randomly get a pedicure during the week before. Since then, I’ve gotten my toes done before every big race—and it’s a tradition I am mighty pleased with. This marathon taper time was no different, and I got to spend an hour getting clipped, rubbed, painted, and all that fun girlie toe stuff. The woman, despite not saying ONE word to me the entire time, did a fantastic job, and she handled my mangled foots without a blink. Oh, and she had to use TWO extra coats on my black toenails. Literally doubled the amount of color on each. But a job well done, and I am thankful for her.

Wow that was a lot of talk about feet.

I am thankful for Nuun, Aleve, my foam roller, and Yoga On Demand.

All of these things are helping to soothe, both mentally and physically, my angst about the race on Sunday. Sure, I know I’ve done the training and I know there really isn’t anything more I can do to get ready. But the fact that I can count on each of these things to help me feel better prepared, rested, hydrated, etc. is keeping my nerves at bay.


I am thankful for the weather report for race day.

cmoooonnnnnnn Sunday!

I realize I just 100% jinxed the crap out of the happy-sunny forecast, but let’s hope for the best still. As you could probably guess, the weather in Seattle is not exactly dependable…and so everyone, not just runners, treat the forecast like a toddler. They watch it like a hawk, they talk about it with anyone and everyone, and they can be equally irritated and giddy over it within an hour time frame. So, needless to say, I’ve been in full-fledged weather-stalking mode, and as of right now it’s looking pretty ideal. I actually have yet to run a long race in sunny weather (isn’t that nuts?) so I’m hoping for a first this time around.

I am thankful for free cake.

complimentary white chocolate mousse cake + candle=happy birthday girl!

I am thankful that no matter what happens on Sunday, there will be a Lakers vs. Nuggets game and pizza afterwards.

I’m sorry….no matter what you think about the Lakers or basketball, this is adorable.

I might completely blow up on Sunday, or I might exceed all my expectations. I really don’t know, a lot can happen over 26.2 miles, and sometimes no matter how much prep work you put in, things don’t pan out right. I’m prepared for this (and in case I do blow up and cry for weeks afterward, remind me that I said this ahead of time). However, I am thankful for pre-planning. Specifically food pre-planning—and one thing is for sure that PR or no PR, there will be ample pizza and beer consumption on Sunday night, as well as a viewing of the Lakers winning Game 4 of the playoffs versus the Nuggets, after which I laugh in BF’s face a friendly basketball game between two teams that BF and I happen to heavily separately favor.

I am thankful that I have the opportunity to run a marathon.

I talk a lot about time goals and PR goals and BQing a lot, but when all is said and done—more than anything all I want to do is run. I am so grateful to have the ability to run, and to run 26.2 miles, no matter how fast or slow it might be. After experiencing an injury scare earlier in this training season and reading all about so many bloggers out there that are currently sidelined by injury, my perspective has become a lot more appreciative and humbled.

If you would have told me 2 years ago that I would be running my second marathon on Sunday, I would never have believed you. We all know how that story actually ends, and in two days all the hours and weeks of preparation will come to a 3:xx:xx hour finale. There are some very definite times that I have associated with “I would love to get (this),” “I would be alright getting (this),” and “I guess I’ll be able to live with (this).” However, when all is said and done, Sunday is just another day I get to run…and that, despite any PR or not, is something I am very thankful for.

 

And finally, I am thankful for my readers, my family, and my friends who have and continue to support me through the whole training process:

You all inspire me every day, and you all have provided me with so much strength, encouragement, and guidance in both running and life. The people I surround myself with, including those in the blog world, are so much of the reason I am able to continue running, writing, and believing in myself, and I could not be more thankful for everyone of you.

 

Alright, now that I’ve gotten sappy, let’s end on a bit more of a practical note, shall we?

I have been incredibly allusive and non-disclosing about my time goals for this race. And why? Well, I get scared to say them out loud—because if they don’t happen, well that makes it all the more disappointing knowing that other people know I didn’t live up to my expectations. But, I realized that it’s not fair to share every ounce of my training and race information with you without giving you the dirty time details.

So, if you care to know…here’s my plan for Sunday. There are two pacers I have my eye on. 3:40 and 3:35. If all goes well, I am going to stick near the 3:40 pacer for the first half. If I’m up for it and feeling alright, I’m planning on chasing down the 3:35 pacer after mile 13. We’ll see what happens…perhaps something entirely different…but for now that is my race plan.

I promise I’ll stop typing now…and if you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading, and have yourself a glorious weekend, and I’ll see you on the other side of 26.2 miles!!

Tacoma, BRING IT.


 

 

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