It really hit me last night while I was sitting at the kitchen table talking to my husband and looking at the calendar. Holy crap, I'm running 26.2 miles in a week. Just out of curiosity I looked back at my long runs for this marathon training cycle. To be honest, I'm not really sure I like what I see. I only did ten long runs and only eight of those were 10 miles or more. Out of three 20-milers originally on the plan, I only completed one.
They went like this:
8, 10, 12.4, 14, 18, 13.3, 20, 9.8, 15.7, 10.1
The other issue is that I didn't really follow a plan for the mid-week runs, I pretty much made it up as I went along going on how I felt, and found myself babying my left hamstring/glute by dropping miles to ensure I wouldn't get injured. I tried to get in one hard, fast run as well as a recovery run when I'd really focus on form and breathing.
Really I'm not that worried about it. Despite the numbers, I feel ready. My last two runs I have felt strong and my legs feel fresh. I know I can do it. Even if I have to walk or crawl, I can get to the finish line. But please don't follow my so-called plan if you'd like to run a marathon.
This year has been about having fun with running and not stressing about getting that new PR. So far it has been working for me and I've been able to do some pretty solid performances on race day. I'm hoping that streak will continue. What is really going to help is that I will be running this marathon with friends who are doing it as a three-person relay. My mind will be distracted from the discomfort since I have someone to talk to (not that I will probably do a lot of talking, I'm usually the quiet one of the group.) Though I'm sure they are going to get a kick out of all my swearing (they are team Pirate Booties, after all!)
I am running this marathon for fun. (That has to sound crazy to a non-runner.) I am running it to be with my best friends. I am running it to celebrate my 37th birthday just two days prior to the race. I am running it to enjoy the beauty of Maine and Mount Desert Island. I am running it for those who can not.
I am running it for me.