Let's backtrack a little bit...ok, ok...about two and a half weeks ago, to the Thursday after Boston...I received a text that my friend Chris (you know, the one I supported during Boston) was thinking of running the Cox Providence Marathon. He wanted to run the race he trained for, the pace and conditions he trained for, the sub-4 marathon he trained for. Boston's conditions robbed many of their dreams for that day, but left them with an amazing accomplishment nonetheless - to finish in those extreme conditions still holding their heads high and managing a finishing smile.
He asked if I might want a bib for Providence, for either the half or the full, through the United Health Care complimentary bibs (UHC was a big sponsor for the race and only had used about half of their comp bibs, so they were extending it to family and friends, within reason). I knew I wasn't trained for the full, but I wanted to run with Chris, and the half started a half hour after the full and ran a separate course to boot! So I told him that I would run the full with him, well at least the miles I could run at his goal pace, and then I would drop out and meet his wife, Katie, to cheer him in.
I had two weeks to get in a 16-miler, and then taper...two weeks to try to test my legs without over-stressing them (let alone my ornery hip giving me pain around mile 5). That Saturday I set out for my 16-miler, with gels and fuel belt in tow. I was cruising and feeling good, hitting mid to low-8's for paces, but then around mile 7 the hip joined the party, so I turned around a little early and told myself I would do the two extra miles around my own neighborhood. Then around mile 10, the hip decided it wanted to be the star of the party, and I was forced to stop for a good long stretch. I still had 4 more miles to even get home, let alone tacking on those 2 extra miles to make it 16. After a limp/jog home, I made it to my doorstep with some tears in my eyes, an 8:45 split, a killer blister and a painful hip. I texted Chris immediately and told him I would try to make the first 10 miles with him, but that was all I would be able to muster (I had a week and a half to heel the toe and rest the hip).
Fast forward to this past week...I treated the taper and the fueling and the hydrating like I was going to run the full 26.2 miles on Sunday, but I couldn't get my mind to follow suit. I was still convinced that I was going to run off the course around mile 16, not able to finish the final 10.2. That is until Friday night, with only two days to go - I had a dream that I was across the finish line with Chris and the clock was still starting with a 3 hour time. I know that might sound dumb, but I had been trying to visualize the race, and staying on pace and even finishing, even though I didn't fully believe I would complete it. I kept my activity low the days leading up to Sunday, and I fueled with good foods, hydrated, and got plenty hours of sleep. I did indulge in a margarita on Saturday, but it was Cinco de Mayo, and the salt helps with hydration, right?!
|I hear alcohol helps with pain...I figured I should start the painkillers early :)|
So there is why I chose to run this marathon, chose to tell few people, chose to test my fitness and my mind...next up, race recap...