Countdown to Route 66

In just a few days  I will be using my kicks on Route 66.  It’s been quite a journey to get to this point once again.  One of the most rewarding aspects about a marathon besides finishing it is the process by which one gets into marathon shape.  This level of running can only be maintained over a short period of time for most individuals during a year time span.

This will be my second time running Route 66.  This training period has been quite different for me.  I’ve looked at it as an experiment.  This time around I have stuck with the training schedule and did some cross training.  Unfortunately the weather switched on me and I haven’t been able to cross train as much.  In the past, my training consisted of running massive amounts of mileage over the course of one week.  However, this time i’ve spaced my runs out and focused on rest as well as intensity.

So on Sunday we will see if the experiment works.  I am going into the race with two goals.  The first goal is to finish the race.  The second goal is a particular time.  I will not reveal that time because I do not want to set myself up for failure. If I simply achieve the first goal, I will consider the race a success.  Don’t worry I will reveal the time on a blog post after the race.

I’m especially excited about this race because once again I have a good friend running her first marathon.  It is such a big accomplishment to run such a long race.  Heck, just getting to the starting line is monumental.  Training and preparation takes a minimum of 16 weeks.  How many people stick with anything for 16 weeks?  So, needless to say, I will be anticipating her finish of the race.

As usual, the week leading up to the race has taken an emotional angle.  I get much more reflective and more appreciative of things.   My dreams become more realistic and I start visualizing parts of the race.  Mainly the finishing of the race.  Marathon running is such a battle.  People ask why do I run such a distance?  I usually tell them that I enjoy the battle.  The battle not with other runners but the battle with self.  I thrive on putting my body in a situation (race) that requires my mind to overcome the urges of giving up or walking.  Every marathon that I have run so far, I have some point in the race where i’m wondering “why I am doing these”.  Also, every marathon that I have run, I have went into survival mode where i’m simply placing one foot in front of the other.  Not even focusing on speed.

Interestingly, my training has allowed me to start thinking more along the lines of strategies.  For instance, I have been running a medium pace for about 8 miles before picking up my speed for the next 8 to 10 miles.  I am hoping for a similar scenario on Sunday.  My biggest concern is the last 6.2 miles.  I would love to have something left in me to finish the last miles with some level of control pace rather than survival pace.

Okay, I can tell that i’m all over the place tonight with my blog.  I do apologize.

Last night I went to the OKC LandRunner meeting and I heard an older more experience runner tell the group one of his many mottos…

Reach for your limits or they will come to you.  How true is that?  Marathons takes you to a limit few things can do.  I am so thankful for many aspects in my life and running enhances many of these aspects.



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