One week from today I’ll be running my next race. November 22, 2015 is the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa. This will be my 3rd time on this course, and my 5th marathon.
My priority this week is to get adequate sleep, eat great food and stay healthy. I’ll continue my strength work and cross training, but with a modified intensity.
Yesterday was my last double-digit long run before the race. Today I rode 15+ miles, but chose a flat course rather than my usual Sunday route. Tomorrow I’ll do fewer reps of my core strength routine and ride the same flat course from today. I have been using the routines from www.strengthrunning.com .
Maybe I should back up and describe how my training has gone this season. In April, I ran the Golden Driller Marathon. It wasn’t my best run. I came through it, but largely felt discouraged, drained and doubtful. I was grateful to be switching my emphasis to cycling for a couple months as I prepared for my next century ride. Running in May was minimal at best. My left hamstring had been nagging me during spring training and wasn’t getting much better. I only ran 6 miles in the entire month of June. It was important to let the hamstring rest and enjoy what cycling and yoga could do for me.
I was already registered for the fall Marathon, but all through the early summer I was hatching a plan to drop back to running the half instead. Mostly, it was a wait and see situation. My mind was quickly losing interest in the demands of marathon training.
I started running with a small group in July, testing how my hamstring would respond. I also decided to try to wean myself off the custom orthotics I’ve been wearing for 15 years. It was a slow and unimpressive reentry into running, but, I didn’t have pain. Three mile runs were comfortable, so I moved up to six, then 8. I still had my doubts about running the full marathon again, but my body was responding to this gradual increase in distance without incident.
Now we are six days from race day. Over the past sixteen weeks I have put in the training, running more than 400 miles. My body feels strong and my mind has made peace with the distance. All that is left is to run my race.