My Road to Boston – Week 17

I have officially become a Boston Marathon stalker! I’m watching Boston Marathon videos, reading Boston Marathon articles, I’ve even participated in a Boston Marathon webinar; yes, pretty much I’m living and breathing Boston Marathon!

In fact mentally, I’ve crossed that finish line at least a hundred times…splendidly I might add.

And not just that, I’ve mentally made that .7 mile hike to my corral, I’ve crossed the start line. I’ve told myself, control your pace…don’t get caught up in the crazy during these first few miles! I’ve run thru the industrial stuff and past those pretty Victorian homes.

I’ve dropped into Lower Falls, run across the overpass that crosses I-95 and into Newton. I’ve made that turn at the Newton firehouse leading up to the first of three Newton hills. Be strong here…you’ve got this! I’ve crested Heartbreak Hill and started my journey downhill to the finish. I’ve entered Kenmore Square, 1 mile to go!, went under Mass Ave., turned onto Hereford, screamed thru the tunnel, and onto Boylston….and there it is… goose bumps appear here…. the finish line!!

Oh my gosh I’m done!!! No, I’m a scientist, I am detail oriented! My kids are spectating and I have to get to them, so I’ve mentally gone over that too! Will this madness stop!?! Yes, yes it will!! But in the interim, I’ll just live the excitement in my head. Soon, very soon, it will be the real deal!!

Perhaps I’ve had all this time to think because I have more time? Na…I mean yes, I am tapering. In fact this week I was down a whopping 12 miles…Week 17 on my schedule had me running 46 miles total; still 3 days of easy running and 3 days of substance, but my miles were down every day except Monday, which remained the same at 6 miles with strides.

Tuesday and Thursday were super hard days. In both cases I had 9 miles to do, but Tuesday included a strength workout of 5 x 1 mile at marathon pace minus 10 seconds with a quarter mile recovery between, and Thursday included a 6 mile tempo. Both days were windy and humid, but Thursday was especially hot, 77 degrees when I started my run at 6am!!

This sudden change in weather has been particularly tough mentally because even though my mileage is down, my perceived effort is much higher.  Whose bright idea was it to bring on the heat during a taper anyways? OK, enough whining, because Thursday’s heat was at the leading edge of a front, which brought a little rain and some welcome cool weather!

Friday and Saturday were both 5 mile, easy paced runs. Saturday I ran with my pup Otis. He’s been a real trooper this marathon cycle. We’ve had some really great runs together. Sunday (today) I ran my last long run…12 miles, and I ran it by myself, which may be the only long run I’ve run by myself this entire training cycle. I took advantage of the cool weather and ran late so that I could practice fueling for an 11 am start.

Also today, I did a little thrift shopping for some race morning throwaway clothes. I scored this totally awesome (NOT) fleece jacket and pair of sweatpants on BOGO at our local Cultural Center ($3-). I also got a cheap yoga mat to sit on. Hard to believe, Friday 6am this girl is going to be en-route to Boston!

It’s T-7 days, and today is the first day I allowed myself to start thinking about the weather. I’ve looked at the forecast twice today and no surprise, it changed from my first glance to my second. Right now it’s pretty much a 50-55 degree day, but look at the wind (Monday)…yikes! No point in getting stressed…by tomorrow, the forecast could be completely changed.

17 weeks down…1 week to go!!!

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