Excited as a kid on Christmas morning
THE Boston Marathon. My third attempt at this storied race. The whole weekend leading up to the main event is so jam-packed with events and expos that you have no time to even think about the 26.2 miles. But finally, what I’ve been waiting for: the moment when there’s nothing left to do but run. I live for this. Loaded in the corral, waiting for the gun. Months of training all leading up to this moment.
Mile one was crowded and off pace, but this was okay and part of the plan. I knew I could make up time later and had to save something for the hills, not trash my quads in the first few miles. The crowd never thinned so it took about 4 miles to work up to goal pace. I took my first gel at mile 5, and it did not go down well. Usually I can suck them down with no problems, but it tasted too sweet and syrupy, hard to swallow. I chased with a few sips of water trying to wash the taste away. About 5 minutes later my stomach started cramping. I thought it was a side stitch (unusual for me), tried to breath through it, and eventually it went away. The same thing happened after choking down half a gel at mile 10. And then again at mile 14. This was not good.
Welp, here we are. The Boston Marathon is one week away. I’ve made it through a week of tapering, and my body has let out a huge sigh of relief. I peaked at 76 miles/week with everything mostly in tact. There were a few huge, confidence-building workouts that I will look back on the night before the race, including a 16 mile long run with the last 8 at goal marathon pace. If I can feel that good on race day, all will be right.
Taper Tantrums are something I deal with every time I significantly reduce volume. You’d think I’d be used to it by now, but it still gets me every time. Here are a few examples of the self-induced insanity I’m facing. I’m not sleeping as well since I’m not running as much. And when I do sleep I’m having weird race-related anxiety dreams where I lose my phone and have to trudge through a swamp and get upset about not knowing my step count (yeah, I don’t understand either). I’m having wild, inappropriate appetite swings where I feel like my stomach is about to implode because I’m so hungry, but then I’m full after half of a normal-sized meal. The emotional roller coaster is a trip as well. I almost burst into tears after watching Shalane’s post-race interview from last year. (“I just wish I were better.” SOB)