"Give me somewhere to stand, and I will move the earth." -- Archimedes
The final 24 hours is finally here. I feel excited and ready. I've waited so long for the final countdown. I'm actually relieved it's here. The tension in the air is palpable. I came to realize last night that that external sensation I was feeling was magic. All this hard work and effort has created this magic hovering in the air during these last few days, waiting for me to bottle it up, channel it, and produce something truly incredible. Tomorrow will truly be an amazing, surreal, magical day for me.
"The journey is the reward."
I've felt groggy and sluggish all week. After my cold last week, I've been terribly congested. Then, I read an editorial in the latest issue of Runner's World, where the author described having a cold during his taper and feeling crappy and groggy, right before he PR'ed for his marathon. I took this as a sign. Also, I feel better today (and twice as good as the day before) so I think everything has moved through. The last few nights of sleep have been very sound. I've also been religious about my diet, vitamins, and lots of organic, herbal tea (with honey) these last few weeks (good for hydration, at least). Maybe this will be a recipe for success.
All my workouts this week have been conservative and purely to help ease my mind and let me sleep at night. I ran on Wednesday, feeling like molassess, out 2 miles, back 1, and walked the last mile. Why? Because I could. I felt, at 3 miles, that was enough for a taper run. It felt great. Not only that but 0 knee pain!!! My peronials have quieted down.
Then, a quick pool swim. I still felt like molassess but very steady and smooth. I focused on my technique. After a nice warm up, some drills, 1x500, 1x200, 1x100, 1x50. Very conservative. It's nice to be done with a workout and feel so fresh afterwards! After a soak in the hot tub, my muscles got one last deep tissue massage. The therapist thought all my muscles felt good. No weird tightness or damage anywhere.
Even though my workouts were sluggish, I felt better afterwards. Less stiff, less congested, and I slept like a baby. Yesterday (Thursday), I took Bluebell for a final quick spin (30 min) on the trainer. No risking a flat or crash this late in the game! She felt great. Again, a little sluggish, but I noticed I felt better at the end of the workout than the beginning. Which is good. After a 5 min warm-up, the workout consisted of 3x1 min sprints at high RPM/low resistance, 1x5 min race pace, 1x4 min race pace, 1x3 min slightly faster than race pace, 1x2 min slightly faster, and 2 sets of 3x10 second increasing rpms at a high gear (this really gets the blood flowing!). Cool down, stretch, groomed Bluebell, made sure she was race-ready, and put her back in the stable with extra carrots.
"The gun goes off and everthing changes... the world changes... and nothing else really matters."
--Patti Sue Plummer
I also packed all my stuff last night. Practiced my transitions, froze my water bottles, and went over my race strategy in my head. I slept fairly well and woke up this morning feeling ready. Today, I'll pick up my race packet, go for a quick 20 min dip (to ensure a good night's sleep), have a safe, nutritious dinner, watch a movie, and go to be early.
“Mind is everything; muscle [mere] pieces of rubber.All that I am, I am because of my mind.”
- Paavo Nurmi
I've been doing a bit of meditating and visualization lately. Focusing on mantras and listening to my inner strength. Coming up with mantras. Going to keep these in my arsenal for the tough moments tomorrow. My goal is to stay positive throughout.
"Sometimes winning has nothing to do with being first across the finish line"
I have done everything I possibly can do for this race. Now, it's time for me to sit back and enjoy. All systems ready. We are a go. I'll see you on the other side!
"The woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep."