I can’t believe my first marathon since October 2019 is only two weeks away. The AirBnBs, yurts and rental car are booked, I’m pretty sure my husband’s new passport is at the courier depot, and we are heading out in just over a week for an Oregon coast/Eugene marathon adventure!!!
After such a solid half in January in Houston, I felt more than ready to jump into this first marathon training cycle with my new coach (well, new as of last spring) and give it my all. As I think I’ve mentioned, I’m not the same runner I was pre-pandemic, or while in full-time school. I’ve heard so many athletes on the podcasts I listen to and on social media talk about how the pandemic ended up being good for them as runners. I feel the same. With close to two years off from any races, plus battling through some mental health lows, a health scare (more another day), changing careers and starting a business, it was a period of time with a lot of growth. I definitely feel more mature as a person and a runner. It feels like the perfect time to run 42.2!!!
Over this marathon cycle I started keeping a “confidence journal” as suggested by Kara Goucher. It’s a little notebook for jotting down a few sentences about what went well in each and every workout, with just enough detail to recall the day and the run when read in the future. Even shitty-feeling days have at least one good thing to pick out, and that’s what the confidence journal is for. I’m looking forward to reviewing it in Eugene the night before the marathon!
The three-week taper officially started after last weekend’s run. I was so looking forward to nailing that 35k long run workout and it DUMPED snow! I managed almost 15k easy outside before calling my husband to come get me and then I had to bang out the rest on the treadmill. At first I was worried about how the flow and heart rate were disrupted, but my crew set me straight and I know it doesn’t matter. Also, it gives me great confidence knowing that over the course of this training block I’ve put in six long runs that were 28k or longer, and three were over 32km.
Goals have been on my mind a ton, obviously. For Houston, I kept my more specific pace-related goals to myself and it seemed to work well for me. I felt no pressure to live up to anything and ran freely and stayed very present – something I plan to do in Eugene as well. I realize no one gives a shit about how we perform except ourselves, but it doesn’t always feel like that. In Houston I negative split the race, and that’s a goal of mine for the marathon that I’ll put out here. Pretty sure I’ve only negative split one marathon out of twelve hahaha. Ok, and my very first was was perfectly even split.
Speaking of staying present, I saw a mantra suggestion on Instagram the other day that I tried out this morning and I loved it! “Stay here.” I found the post on the explore feed on @laurenfloris77 page, which I now follow. The post says “Stay Here” : when to use it: when you start ‘futurecasting,’ either negatively or positively. I repeated it multiple times today during 45 minutes of pace work and it worked for me the way a good mantra should, i.e. it felt powerful and evoked a strong mental state. Staying present is my goal and this is gonna help me in the race!
So yeah! Next Monday it’s runcation time!! This week has the last real workout before the marathon and a few pace intervals on Sunday. The hay is basically in the barn. Time to trust the training and get lots of good rest. So many people are running a marathon on May 1st!!! Gonna be a big day! Eugene, BMO Vancouver, Goodlife Toronto, Mississauga… GOOD LUCK!