I swear, this is my last post about the marathon before the marathon. Wait, did I mention that I'm running a marathon this weekend?
Okay, so I'm all ready to go. Packed, tapered, hydrated, rested, psyched.
With lots of help from my two girls Zoe (student) and Grace (former student), I have a great playlist of all new music on my ipod. (Everyone needs a Zoe and a Grace. I say to them: I need to know what my new favorite songs are, and they provide. Every time.)
When I started talking about wearing my ipod during the race, my marathon friends said: what, are you going to tune us out? do we talk too much?
I don't know where they got the idea that I might need a break from all the talking. Maybe it was after our 21 mile run when I finally sat down and said: OH MY HOLY GOD WHEN ARE YOU EVER GOING TO STOP TALKING? These girls (specifically Christine, Susan and Suzanne)... you should hear them. Running along bouncing from topic to topic to topic. I can do that for a while, say 10 miles, but eventually I need to focus internally and I can't keep up with their chatting ability. Like at mile 19 of our longest run, when Christine says: "Okay, new topic. Cats!" And they go on about their cats, and kitty litter, and cats that died, and cats that pee all around the house, and cats that.....at which point I find my ipod and turn it on.
I jest. Have I mentioned that I wouldn't have made it through the training without these friends? Even though I can't keep up with the chatter, I love how much laughter accompanies us on our runs. It has been known to happen that some of us have stopped running to double over in laughter. I'm sure we'll get a little bit of that on the marathon course too.
Here is the marathon plan:
On Saturday morning, Sam and I are dropping our kids of at Kimmie's and driving 6 hours to Burlington. We will arrive in time to go to the Expo, pick up my race packet and timing chip, check into the hotel, and then meet our party of 16 for dinner. All 6 of us runners are accompanied by our significant others plus some friends. We will eat at American Flatbread Pizza in Burlington, and then go off to our separate hotels
Sunday morning, the marathon girls are meeting up at 6:30 am to head for the starting line. The gun will go off at 8 am and we will start running.
I prefer to think of the marathon in thirds, as 2 nine mile runs with an 8.2 bonus run at the end. That way, I don't get to mile 1 and say: "25.2 miles to go!" My plan is to stick with the girls and (we think) a pacer that the marathon provides, at least for the first third of the race, miles 1-9.
During my 2nd third (miles 9-18), Sam will join me for a 5 mile chunk just like my sister did in San Francisco. If he can run me to mile 17 or 18, I can handle the rest on my own. If I stay with the girls the whole way, I'll be thrilled, but at some point, I have to run my own race and may not be able to keep up with them. I am not anxious about running the last third alone if I have to. That is where my ipod will come in handy. On the course, there is a turn at mile 21 that puts us on a gradually descending bike path to the finish line. If I make it to mile 21 feeling reasonably okay, I know I will make it home.
My only remaining fear is the heat. The forecast is for high 80s. For girls who trained in 40 and 50 degrees, this is not good news.
Positive vibes and cool breezes at 8 am eastern time on Sunday morning, please and thank you! Here we go!