Monday, January 15, 2007

Game Time

In just under a week, i'm going to attempt the most difficult athletic endeavor of my life so far: trying to break the 3-hour mark in the marathon. This rather mundane feat would not impress many people, but i know it'll be hard for me. Even though my training for the event has gone well and i feel very fit and i've managed all of my intermediate goals (including a 1:24 half); i get butterflies just thinking about the last 6 miles of this marathon. I know that i can run 6:50 pace for 20 miles, but sustaining that pace over the final 10k is gonna hurt. On the other hand i know that, barring unfortunate weather or sickness, i can do it. The barrier between what's possible and what's comfortable is what makes racing interesting.

When i talk about running with non-runners, most are impressed that i'm able to get in 60-70 miles a week while still having kids, a full-time job, and another avocation that requires regular training. But i find that fitting in a 15-mile run on a Wednesday before work is considerably less difficult than keeping my focus on family and work during race week. In the week before a race i usually try to increase my intake of carbohydrates and to drink lots of fluids, but it's also important to stay in a fairly regular routine so that it's possible to sleep at night and not be overwhelmed by anxiety. But it's really hard to keep my mind off the race. Even though it really isn't a competitive event in the sense that i'm not trying to win, place, or show; i get the same pre-game jitters that i had in high school before an important basketball game.

I'm finding the news of Ryan Hall's sub hour half marathon in Houston to be inspiring. That's a phenomenal run.

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