And so it is upon me. Just over three months of aggressive training comes down to 8:00 am tomorrow morning. The best part though, is that it doesn't end tomorrow. In fact, tomorrow is only my first big race of the season...a race that will herald in a season full of fun and exciting new trail races, as well as some familiar favourites. I have trained hard for this marathon (see previous post), but I am still trying to stay level headed. It's easy to get wrapped up in pace calculators and "what-ifs". I can fairly confidently say that at an intermediate training level, I'm not sure I could have done a whole lot more to prepare myself. I improved my diet, lost some unnecessary weight, cross-trainined, and never missed a single day of running. The one downside to my training was that I started into the program about a month too late. I missed the first 5 weeks, but still managed 13+ weeks of aggressive running. While my running log doesn't show it, I also budgeted in pace/tempo days weekly. Other than moving to an "advanced" training program (which I have no desire to do) that also incorporates intense hills, 4x800's, more tempo runs, more long runs, and a sixth day of running, I don't think I could realistically be more prepared.
I'm sitting here now at the hotel, ridiculously anxious to get to some running. I haven't done anything now in over two days and I'm fairly well carb-loaded. I'm starting to spaz a bit. Coming into the expo today I realized just how much my interests have steered away from road races and towards trails. Don't get me wrong...I love this race, and I love that people are here to run. Seeing people get excited about getting outdoors to do something fun is awesome. The issue I have is with the mentality I seem to be now lacking. I had a couple people start talking to me about various shoes, barefoot running, sport supplements, and gels just while wandering around. All I could think of was how much I'd rather just be grabbing a grubby PB&J sandwich at a makeshift aid station buried deep in the woods of Vermont. I have a hard time getting excited about road running gear and fads and feel that I've drifted quite a bit away from the whole "scene". Three years ago, I was much more excited about the actual "running talk" with my fellow street running folks. With all that said though, I'm still very happy to be here....albeit a bit over-energized right now. (Nevermind the fact that the pasta dinner starts in 30 minutes).
The new course looks really awesome too. Lots of new flat and downhill sections going through nice wooded areas of the Pocono Mtns. I'm super excited about this. Should be nice and fast. Check it out HERE
Not much else to say. Like I said in my last post...there's no second guessing now. I'm ready, I'm fierce, and I will go into this race tomorrow with fervor and hold nothing back. I know what to expect, I know what I'm getting myself into, I know not to try anything new, go out too fast, or wear new gear. I am no longer the new guy at this. So without further adieu, I shall stare it down, look it in the eyes....and say,
(As to breaking 3:39:00......wish me luck!)