Sunday, November 25, 2012

One Week to Go

I have one week to go until the California International Marathon. In one week, in fact, I will be finished with it, for better or worse.

Last "Long" Run: Yesterday I did my last long run, 90 minutes with a harder 1/2 hour thrown in in the middle. It was a lousy run as confidence-boosters go. I managed to stay at what I have been hoping will be race pace (8:30/mile) for about the first 15 minutes of the "harder" part. After that, my heart rate, which was supposed to stay between 155-165, began to wig out on me, and I had to slow down. The final 30 minutes, in which I was supposed to stay below 150, actually required some walking to do that. I don't think I can blame the Garmin this time. I think my body just wasn't having it. Soon after, I had to find a bathroom pronto. Let's hope neither of these things (slowing down and gut issues) happen next Sunday. Maybe I can blame two days of Thanksgiving food??? :^)

Heart rate training can be a real heart-breaker (no pun intended) because there's no way to avoid the bluntness of it on bad days. When you start to exceed requirements, you just have to slow down, or there's no point in doing it at all.

That said, it's not the first time I've had a bad run a week before a marathon. Does this happen to anyone else?


Conversation with Dan:

I bored my husband even more than usual about CIM this weekend, but I figure he has only a few more days of putting up with it. On Friday night over some two-handed bridge, I asked him if he thought I could do it (meaning qualify for Boston). Dan is always honest with me. He's a scientist, very rational and practical, and while he's also very kind, he wasn't going to be all sunshine and sparkles if he really didn't think it possible.

So I was happy when this is what he had to say on the subject: "The only question for me is your endurance. Did you do enough long runs? You clearly have the speed."

So he didn't say NO (and the long run issue is the one on my mind, too). Which is encouraging!

Menu Planning:
I'm normally a huge scatterbrain when it comes to meal-planning, but not this week. Here's what's for dinner in my house through Thursday:

Tonight: Pasta w/ Dan's tomato sauce and mushrooms
Monday: Leftover pasta (last speed workout Tuesday morning--4x1 miles at marathon pace--requires bland food)
Tuesday: Egg, chili and cheese burrito (recovering from said hard workout while working late)
Wednesday: Chicken, green salad and green beans
Thursday: Pasta w/ Dan's tomato sauce (again; hey, don't stray from what works, right?)

Pace Bands:

I've ordered pace bands from Races2Remember. They are for 3:50 (which would be a PR but not a BQ), 3:45 (the Golden Threshold and my A goal) and 3:40 (the Moonshot)

How I'm Feeling:

Yesterday afternoon I sat down with Darren for a half hour to talk about the race and our plan for it. That plan is not final, because some of it depends on how Tuesday's 4x1 mile workout goes, so I'll be including the details of the conversation in my goals post later this week.

But right now, a day after the conversation on another beautiful day in Colorado, I'm feeling pretty optimistic, even with the way yesterday's run went. I'm not going to say "I know I will BQ." I'm not an "if you believe it, it will come" person. But if it's a good weather day in Sacramento, if I approach the marathon with the proper humility and concentration, if I execute the plan Darren laid out for me, and if I can find the zone I ran in in Detroit, I think I CAN BQ. And after the year I've had, that's such an exhilarating mindset to be in!

22 comments:

  1. My husband is like yours, he won't just say he thinks I can do something just to shut me up :) I know you have a BQ in you!

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  2. i think you CAN too! i really do. don't let your last long run throw you off. it's a non-factor anyway. you've only been really tapering for a week and you'll really begin to feel the effects of the taper this week. i promise :)

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  3. nice to have a BQ as your "B" goal!!! Enjoy the final week of taper and go out there and GET IT!!!!!

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  4. I love the confidence. If you don't believe you can do it, then you can't. I know it's one of those things where anything can go wrong, but if I didn't believe I could BQ the first time I tried, then I never would have. Stick to your plan - that is key. Don't forget that CIM has some uphills mixed in there so don't think it will all be easy peasy down stuff. All will be good, I know it will :). So very excited for you!

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  5. I love Dan's answer. I'm on pin and needles waiting for this race. Excited that Darren has a good plan for you - so great you have someone you knows what you have done in training, has great expertise & experience. He wouldn't blow smoke at you. You can do this and you are ready!!

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  6. I can totally do this! You have worked very hard and it is great that you have several plans to go with. Good luck and I wish you the very best. I think I will start to get serious about the BQ as soon as I am running pain free and able to handle a harder training plan.

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  7. I meant you not I! I am totally not ready!

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  8. I have faith in you! I think you were so impressive at that last half after all that time off and you've had more solid training in between, so I think it's yours. The weather is looking pretty sweet, too, so another good factor.

    I am flying into San Jose on Fri. night and then driving over to Sacramento on Sat. So maybe meeting up at the expo on Sat.? Or post race Sunday? I guess we should email about this, huh?

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  9. Well if it's any consolation... the weekend before my one and only marathon I had a terrible run. Then, on race day everything came together well. I hope this holds true for you too! Good luck. Can't believe it's THIS WEEKEND!!

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  10. The 'I think I can' zone is exactly where you want to be. Of course many things need to align. I THINK YOU CAN! Very excited for you and CIM!

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  11. It's almost here!! :) So excited for you! I think it's almost a rule that the last big run before your target race has to be a confidence-shaker. And hey, nothing like a stiff glass of humility before the marathon. But you've done a lot right, and with Darren and Dan both thinking positive, that's got to make you feel good about your chances. Plus, you did have a fantastic half in Detroit.

    Good luck! I'm sure I'll tell you that several more times before this weekend, but I'm sending any bit of speed karma I have west to you.

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  12. Oh, Bill, the BQ is ALWAYS the A goal. It's just nice to have an A+ goal, too.

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  13. Is it totally ridiculous that I actually got a bit emotional reading your last paragraph??? I cannot even begin to describe how excited I am for you to race! Whatever the race, I'm so thrilled your racing again after all the work you had to do to get here!

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  14. I can't wait for your race recap! Good luck!

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  15. Laura @ Mommy Run FastNovember 26, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    I'm feeling hopeful for you! And going in believing you can do it is a HUGE piece of the puzzle. I love that chat with your husband- mine is the same way, with the honest feedback, although he would be clueless about the appropriate training for a marathon. Thinking of you all this week!!

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  16. You have been through so much this year! Just go out there and run and enjoy it! I have a feeling you are going to do great! Can't wait to hear how things go.

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  17. I really do believe that you can. Your speed improvement has really been amazing. Just remember all that wonderful sea level oxygen! Almost there, my friend!!!

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  18. After the year and comeback you've had, you SHOULD be exhilarated! I am so excited for you. We will be thinking of you and anxiously waiting for the final result!

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  19. i'm so so so excited for you!! From what I can tell from your training, you are ready! You need to get your mind in the "YES YOU CAN" mentality! I always feel a little flat in my taper weeks and speed work is the only thing that can really helps with that for me. Spend some time with your race plan and your thoughts and remember that you are strong and you can do this!

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  20. I think optimistic and realistic is the best combo to be. You never know what will happen over the course of 26.2 miles, but you have done the training, you are healthy, you are fit, you are in a great frame of mind - the BQ is definitely there and definitely a real possibility. Take it one mile at a time and enjoy the journey. I will be cheering for you!

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  21. Yes, I absolutely have one of the worst runs of my training in the week (or 2) before the race, during taper. It is always the biggest confidence fail! But I think it is normal and just your body reacting to a reduced volume and that "it's only xx miles/minutes" mentality. Also, I LOVE your husband's response. Because #1 I appreciate someone who isn't as enthralled with running as some of us crazies taking the time to give a well though out answer to a question that is important to us and because #2 It was spot-on with what YOU thought! And from my 1000 miles away, only-reading-about-your-training-through-your-blog opinion too :) I really do think you can do it and I am SO hoping for the best for you!

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