In less than 10 hours I will begin my first full marathon, the Carlsbad Marathon. You can even follow me with live tracking at Track Nick Live with bib #1383 but you should know that my goal is to finish in 4:50.
I'm as ready as I could be after training for this race most of the last six months. I've felt ready for weeks now, waiting with the anticipation of a child 12 days before Christmas - I've only got 12 hours.
I've picked up my bib, race shirt, race jacket, and gear bag... along with some schwag (a new Yoga studio gave me a shirt), new sunglasses (you can get decent shades for $20), ordered some sandals (really cool very local manufacturer Cobian who've been around for years catering to the surfers just now making their racing debut), and a couple other "toys" that I'll tell you about later.
See, race day is really not the time to be trying anything "new". Stick to the tried and proven methods, foods, nutrition, drinks, etc that you have trained with. Anything new presents a very real risk of becoming a problem 20 miles into your run. This is what I've been told by many different people which has been reinforced by nearly every article on running a race, so it must be true.
Six months ago, in August, it challenged me to cover six miles in one workout. My last long run was 21 (road) miles along the Pacific Coast Highway, just feet from the sandy beach, the very same road tomorrow's race will be comprised of. With the West Coast RoadRunners we have trained for this race and run almost the entire route through the season. I know the road so well now that I can visualize most of it in my head.
The visual I'm still working on is where I'm crossing the finish line! I took Friday off work so that I could relax a little bit, get some things done around the house, and then go to the race expo once it opened. Today was "stay off your feet" day, so they say... but it was also Girl Scout cookie warehouse distribution day... so I spent five hours this morning unloading, rearranging, moving, and reloading about 20 pallets of cookies with some other volunteer parents. Hmmm... (let me know if you want to buy some cookies!)
I've been to my "sports doc" at Elite Chiropractic twice this week for a knee pain that started on an 8 mile Tuesday morning trail run. It was pretty bad but has settled down to a dull roar the last few days. I'm giving it the full RICE (rest, ice, compression elevation) treatment - ok so maybe some RICE... with ibuprofen thrown in for good measure. My fingers and toes are crossed that it will leave me alone tomorrow!
The good news is... that I've also signed up for a 50 mile race in May. The PCT50 (Pacific Crest Trail) is nearby and is so popular that it sold out in less than 48 hours! I wanted to throw in something to look forward to early in the year, that could also count as a qualifier for a 100 miler I'm also looking at for September. I've got a long ways to go to get there (ha ha ha) so I'm taking it one at a time.
Please wish me luck and I'll let you know how well all of Greg's advice works out for me! I think he likes to talk about his scrotum a little bit more than I do mine, so maybe some of the details won't be shared.