Monday, February 16, 2015

336 Hours

I'm officially in taper mode for the Phoenix Marathon on February 28th.  So Saturday began the 2 weeks ... or said another way, 14 days ... or 336 hours ... or even 20,160 minutes of constant over-analyzing, incessant worrying, and endless strategizing of the race.  Here's just a few of the things that will be bouncing around my brain ...

Did I run too many miles in training?
Did I get in enough speed work?
Did I finish enough long runs?
CRAP ... I didn't focus enough on pre-race nutrition.
But I AM pretty fast right now ... I'm gonna kill this thing!
Eh ... I dunno ... I really bombed on the last downhill marathon course.
Surely I can finish under 3:10.
Idiot ... you're not in THAT kind of shape right now ... just go out slow and run a solid race!!!
Which pair of Saucony's should I wear?
Maybe I won't turn my music on until mile 10.
Haha ... everyone thinks I REALLY like Taylor Swift songs 'cause I reference her all the time.
Hmmm ... actually I really do like Taylor Swift ... what does that say about me?
Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.
Man, I really over-think things.
I can probably lose three more pounds before the race.
Man, I don't think my abs have ever been this strong ... I've got a legit six pack ... just feel 'em!
I'm in pretty good shape for a 46 year old ... Michael's a lucky woman.
I'm really arrogant sometimes.
Are my legs strong enough for this race ... the downhill really tears up your quads?
The last four miles are gonna hurt ... I don't wanna hurt ... why do I put my body through this?
I think I'll wear a black singlet 'cause it makes my arms look defined even though they're not.
Why do I focus so much on what to wear ... no one cares.
I'm too old for a singlet ... don't be a tool and just wear a t-shirt like a normal guy.
But I'm not normal ... I'm GREAT!!!
Eh, I'm not great ... just a little above average.
I hope they have some fruit along this course.
Could I actually carry fruit with me?
It's gonna be hot compared to what I've been training in all winter.
Hot and dry ... my lips are gonna hurt real bad.
If I can do 10 miles at a 6:35 pace, surely I can do 26 at a 7:15 pace.
What kind of logic is that dummy... that doesn't make sense at all ... you're gonna crash going that fast.
Surely I'll BQ ... I only need a 3:25.
Listen Hot-Shot ... that's still pretty fast for you.
I need to add the grand kids to my Good-Luck-Puck.
Is four gels too many?  That last one always seems to bother my stomach.
Why am I just now trying to figure this out?
What if my legs are too sore and tired to enjoy Spring Training at the Royals the next few days?
Maybe I should dial it back so I can enjoy Spring Training.
Don't be a wuss ... put the hammer down and go for it ... no one trains as hard as you do.
Why can I almost always place in my Age Group in shorter races, but never get close in marathons?
Sewing those extra pockets in my running shorts was a brilliant idea.
I've literally got like 5 pockets in there for gels.
Am I a genius?
What if I can't find chicken & rice before this race?
Wait ... oh no ... do they have chicken & rice places in Arizona?
I hope my left knee doesn't tighten up.
Stupid treadmill.
Michael will be finished with her half and waiting for me at the finish line.
I love it when she's there at the finish line.
Man, I'm so in love with that woman!!!
I think I can walk through the water-stops without losing too much time.
Everyone laughs at the water-stop when I ask if the water is free ... and if any girls have passed me yet.
Gotta use those jokes this race ... it really takes the edge off.
I'm pretty funny.
Why don't I run downhill very well?
I think I'll do Speed Work tomorrow ... and a short session next Monday.
Stop thinking about the race.
Don't psych yourself out.
There'll be other races ... don't burn energy thinking too much about this one.
It's been a long time since I've ran a good marathon.
This is the one.
I'll tell you when it's over if the high was worth the pain.

And so it goes on and on and on.  Hour after hour of self-banter.  Believe me, I'm a lot better than I used to be.  I would actually say that I've graduated to "a steady thought process", other than worrying for two weeks like I used to do.  Anyway, there's a peek into the ping-ponging in my mind the two weeks leading up to a race. It's probably not the healthiest practice, but I'll be I'm not alone.  What do you think about the two weeks before a race?
... Be Great  Today!


  1. This posts nails it spot on! I kinda feel I need to live in an air bubble for the next 2 weeks. Happy Taper, Jim!

  2. Taylor Swift is my secret shame too. Don't worry about it - shake it off.

  3. Sounds fairly normal Jim.

    You might want to make a list of things you can control and things you can't. For instance, if you ran too much prepping for the race, then there's not much you can do about that now. But if you are worried about your lips chafing then find some chapstick.

    Also, consider you don't put this much mental energy into your 20 mile training runs and from the looks of it your long distance runs have been awesome. So don't overthink / worry yourself into a subpar performance. Just do what you've trained to do: run.

    BTW: I found Arizona to be a bit more humid than anticipated. If it has been raining, watch out for this. Also it can get mildly warm by mid morning. I don't mean to freak yourself out, but keep that in the back of your mind.


  4. My marathon is the day after yours so I've been in the same countdown! My mileage has been lower going into this one so my main thought is "am I ready/ have I done enough??" Plus I'm doing Little Rock Marathon which you know firsthand how chalkenging that course can be. (And apparently it's a little harder this year since they re-routed some sections of the course...) Not very sure how to pace it. Based on your training times I'd say you are definitely in sub 3:10-3:05 shape. If the weather and course are good I'd say go for it!

  5. Yup. You hit the nail on the head! I totally agree with Eddie here. Don't think about it, just do it!!!

  6. This was my good laugh for the day. Now I'm gonna be wanting chicken and rice for dinner.

  7. Great post!!! Taylor Swift, I had the shake it off song in my head the whole 10k of the Groundhog Run this year. What does that say about a 54 year old guy???

  8. Whoa Nelly...someones a little dramatic! My heck you've trained like a maniac old man. The only thing that will hold you back from accomplishing your goal is your thoughts and your mind. Stay in control of those mental demons, look back at your training, and accept the fact that you are capable.

    I'm pacing a friend in PHX that is targeting 3:38. I plan to see you there!! Rachelle


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