I am just four days out from the Newport Marathon and the last few weeks have been a real struggle for me. I can't tell if my fatigue and exhaustion are simply due to low iron or if I'm just not cut out for back-to-back marathons and having to train so soon after a hard race.
There is such a fine balance between getting enough training and getting enough rest, especially when attempting two marathons close together. From my schedule, it looks like I have been erring on the side of rest. After taking a week off completely, I have run only 3 days/week in the six weeks since Boston. That's nothing for a marathoner. But I am also cross training 2 days/week and I am always tired. Although I'm hitting (most of) my paces on my runs, they seem so much harder than they should.
I feel under-prepared for this marathon and, yet, I'm so exhausted that I can't imagine doing anything more than I'm already doing.
Honestly, I just have no idea what is going to happen on race day. [Then again, when do we ever really know what to expect?!] But there is one thing I know for sure and that is that I'm going to leave it all out there. I have a goal of running a sub-3:30 marathon and while my 3:30:30 at Boston came very close, it's not close enough.
Boston was never my goal race. When I signed up for Newport a few months ago, I decided that Boston would be more for the experience and Newport would be where I would push my limits. And my plan still is to run it aggressively and see what happens. I just wish I had a little more confidence going into it than I do right now. My body is so tired that my confidence is beginning to waver...
So for the next four days, I plan to rest my body as much as possible and put my mind to work instead. We have all heard the saying "Running is 90 percent mental and the rest is physical." I am usually fairly strong mentally but can feel myself faltering as this fatigue wears me down. It is time to kick this self-doubt to the curb.
Sir Edmund Hillary said, "It's not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves."
Nike said it another way:
While I'm focusing on my mental game and getting ready for Saturday, I'm also getting ready for a weekend visitor! Kate and I met through our blogs last fall and immediately felt a connection with one another. We share a love of
a sweaty long run with a girlfriend
a steaming mug of freshly roasted coffee
a soul-cleansing yoga class
an aimless walk through a farmers market market
a spur-of-the-moment dance party in the living room
a lazy late afternoon on the beach
an overflowing plate of vegan food
a beautifully written book
a delicious glass of wine and
anything funny that will make us laugh until we cry.
Despite the fact that we are also opposite in many ways -- as a single gal living in sunny San Diego, her daily life is much different than my married, mother of three kids life in rainy Portland -- we are both soul and sole sisters.
|at the finish line of Boston...the day before the race|
Anyway, Kate and I decided a few months ago to sign up and run Newport together. She had never been to Portland and loved the idea of combining a marathon with a trip to Portland. Our running times are almost identical and we had the same goals for both Boston (running for fun) and Newport (targeting around 3:25).
For almost all of my races, I am alone at the starting line and running by myself throughout the entire race. Occasionally, my husband and I will run a race together but even on those days, he likes to inch up to the starting line while I prefer to hang back a little to keep myself from starting too fast. And even if we were to start together, we always have different time goals. Newport was going to be a first for me in this sense. Kate and I would travel to the race together on Friday (2.5 hour drive from Portland), start the race together the next morning and, hopefully, run together for most or all of the race.
But as anyone who has ever undertaken marathon training knows, just getting to the starting line healthy and ready to run is a major accomplishment. Never mind trying to get your friend there, too.
So, sadly, it doesn't look as if Kate will be running much of the race on Saturday. Her body has been on strike ever since Boston and she finally had to give in to the demand for rest. She's had a few good runs but even more bad runs.
Regardless, we are both still so excited for the weekend and all the fun it will bring. She is looking forward to being my biggest cheerleader (my husband is going to stay in Portland with the kids) and enjoying the stress-free role of spectator. And I am looking forward to her falling in love with Portland so that she will move here one day.
Somehow I have to convince her that this:
|Forest Park in Portland|