Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pre-Race Marathon Diva

Mood swings. Carb destruction. Sleeplessness. PR Obsession. Hyper spaz-outs. Listlessness. Freakouts. Ghost Injuries. Meltdowns. Elation. Sobriety. Excitement. Dread. Nerves. Appetite. OCD. Joy. Sadness. Entertainment needs. Pace calculations. Fuel nerves. Exhaustion. Energy. Extreme happiness. 
  No, these are not traits of someone with major PMS. Or Jekyll and Hyde.

These are traits of a runner, in the few weeks leading up to a marathon.

This time around I didn't think the tapering would be so bad. Newport is a really small race, not a big corporate machine with a lot of hype and weekly email blasts and twitter hashtags to keep your nerves on edge.

This is as fancy as the Newport Marathon gets:

 Only one email saying that I'm in and good luck to me? I love it.

I was right- tapering this time around wasn't bad. I was actually pretty proud of myself for holding it together.
After my last super long run, I was totally fine.
During my first week of full taper, I was still feeling pretty good.

For some reason, this week, I started to fall apart a little bit.

The advantage now is that I can recognize the symptoms and mostly deal with them and take a deep breath and let it go.


 It started with small things, like almost crying when I couldn't immediately find my ID (I found it about 15 seconds later), or feeling enraged at the airport security lady for having to re-scan my bag. 

Now that I'm about 24 hours away from flying to Oregon, the freak outs are really starting to progress.

OMG I haven't packed yet and I need to buy more Gu and I haven't arranged my playlist and I need to print out my pace charts and I don't know what shoes I'm wearing and I haven't been hydrating enough and I swear my knee is starting to hurt and....

Yeah. Welcome to my thought process today. 

Everyone keeps asking what my goal is. 
To be honest, I don't know. 
My goal is to run as fast as I can. Whatever time that turns out to be, that is my time goal.

Not to sound like a total blowhard, but I'm about 99% sure I will PR. I'm feeling stronger than I was in Chicago last year and am not injured this time, so I should be able to crush my previous PR of 3:53, barring any on-course injuries or cramps. So I guess my goal is something in the 3:40's. Or faster.  

I'm taking pace time charts with me for finish times of 3:45, 3:40, and 3:35. We'll see what happens and at what point I crash and burn.

The current forecast for race day is a perfect partly cloudy morning in the 50's, so that will help.

 I'll also have views like this all along the course to keep me motivated.


Lastly, for all the non runners out there, here are some fantastic tips from Oiselle on how to deal with a Marathon Diva.

Not that I am one or anything..... 


  1. Good luck Mary! Marathon taper is really frustrating. I don't understand why our bodies react to it the way they do. I can't wait to hear how you do. You're going to crush your PR!

  2. Good luck Mary! I can't even imagine the horrible monster I'm going to turn into. I'm already pretty hard to handle HAHA!