Monday, September 23, 2013

Hay is in the barn.....

Only 6 days to go, but who's counting? I AM!  Training is done.  Some of it was really difficult and really sucked a lot because this summer was so hot and humid, but the last few weeks of cooler, dryer weather have given me the confidence I needed going into this race.  I had some really awful long runs and started to doubt myself and really wonder how much this marathon was going to hurt.  My 20 miler on Labor Day weekend was easily the worst run/death march I have ever experienced.  But in hindsight, I did have some really solid 14, 16, and 18 mile runs.  There was that one week in July that the heat index was over 100 every day and I didn't run at all.  Probably not all that bad though to take a week off from running.  In the big picture of my training for Berlin I think that was actually exactly what I needed at the time.

Last week, I cut back my mileage and just did two shorter runs.  6 miles along the Charles on Tuesday (although I felt amazing and could have gone longer).  My pace is finally back where I like to see it for shorter distances and I'm feeling really good about my fitness level right now.  Wednesday I did a nice easy 4 miles through Lowell with Kim.  I hadn't seen her in a while so it was really great to catch up.  I had feared all summer getting a text from her to run because my pace had slowed so much with the heat and humidity that I was embarrassed I might not be able to keep up with her.  But that was not the case and we had a great run.
Thursday I went to see my good friend Peri for my pre-race acupuncture treatment.  It helps balance my Chi, give me good vibes, positive energy, mental focus and healthy healing electricity to all the right areas.  I left feeling totally blissful and relaxed.  Friday I had booked myself another 90 minute massage.  It was really tough to get through the day at work because admittedly I was not thinking about work at all, all I could think about was Germany, the marathon, and of course the amazing massage I was going to get after work.  Once again it was a great experience.  She did some deep tissue work on my quads and hamstrings and loosened things up.  I was a little sore afterwards, but not more than after a good workout.

Saturday was my last 'long' run.  I had planned to do 10 miles near my house, but when I ran with Kim earlier in the week she mentioned that she and Cherie were doing 8-10 from her house so I decided to join them.  We met at 7:30 and ended up doing a nice flat 9 mile loop through Ayer.  It was perfect.  The first few miles I took it really easy, my legs were still a little sore from the massage.  In the last 3 miles I decided to pick up my pace a little and just test out my legs and see if I could hold a little more uncomfortable pace.  I pushed it a little and visualized the last few miles of the marathon finishing strong and leaving nothing on the course.  My new favorite running mantra is something I thought of a few weeks ago, find the pace between uncomfortable and unconscious and HOLD ON.  I finished the run really strong with a little left in the tank feeling really good.  Overall, I averaged 10:17s for the total 9 miles.  Exactly where I want to be!

I really really wanted to go skydiving one more time, but the weather didn't cooperate.  It was foggy in the morning Saturday and then the winds picked up in the afternoon and the forecast was calling for 25mph gusts so I figured it just wasn't meant to be.  Since we finished the run so early I had the rest of the day and nothing to do really.  I had all kinds of ideas, like maybe trying to learn to ride my unicycle or trying out the slackline I bought earlier in the year, but both presented a certain amount out risk of injury that I wasn't really willing to test out.  I ended up just chillin at home and catching up on some TV shows and back to back cheesy movies the USA Network.  I haven't done that in a while so it was nice.
Sunday, it was raining and kind of gross out for most of the day.  I woke up super early and couldn't sleep so I did some cleaning and laundry.  Then I set up my bike trainer and put 'American Flyers' in the DVD player and did a ride along with Kevin Costner.  I was dripping sweat even with my windows wide open and a fan on.  Pretty fun.  I may have to make a habit of this new Sunday morning routine (minus the waking up super early part.

So, the plan for this week is just to take it easy, maybe do a few short 3-4 mile runs.  HYDRATE.  Rest.  Mentally prepare.  Pack and then take off.  Oh and try to get some work done.  That will be the hardest part.  Luckily I only really have a tough day today, then it's a pretty low key week.  Nothing left to do really, just get there.  I am so excited.  This is going to be a great trip and a fun experience to check off my 'to-do' list.  Marathon followed by Oktoberfest.  Yup, I'm expecting nothing short of AWESOME.

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