Edmonton Marathon: Last Day.

Today is my last run before the marathon.
I can't believe how fast this last 4 months have gone by.

The official training tally is as follows:
Number of times gone running: 90
Distance ran: 996.5km (The number junkie in me would love to run the extra 3.5km to make it an even 1000, but I am doing my best to resist.)
Time Spent Running: 101 hours

So the time and training has clearly been put in, now its just a matter of one foot in front of the other.

I've got this.
Can't wait to have this lovely little medal in my hands!

Edmonton Marathon - T-minus 10 days

Okay so... when did this become so close. I am not sure I want to run 42.2km in 10 days and 15 hours. I know I want the medal, and I want a PR though, and I would like all of this training to have a purpose... so I guess I have to run it.

Tomorrow is my last difficult run. TOMORROW! I have a 16km tempo run, and then I am basically home free. Or as close to home free as someone who has 75km of easy running to do can be. After tomorrow it will be all about keeping it nice and easy, and not letting my fast friends (you know who you are) coerce me into running a faster pace.

(Speaking of a faster pace though... I have been just killing it on my intervals lately)

Also I obviously need to work on my mental strategy, so as not to become a complete basket case prior to the race. Ann Trason (Otherwise known as the queen of Ultramarathons) states that it is just as important to mentally taper prior to a race, as it is to rest your legs. Both need to be fresh to get you across that finish line. So, after tomorrow, I am running for fun. No more race strategy thoughts, no more freaking out over my training. I have put the work in. I know it. I have only missed out on 12km of running over the course of the last 9 weeks of training. I buckled down, I ran when I was tired, when the weather was scorching, early in the morning, late at night, I ran with friends, I ran solo, I ran pushing a stroller, I ran tempo runs, I did interval running, I did my long runs on hilly terrain, I have done it all. I know I am stronger and fitter than ever right now, and if I can calm down and just run on race day I know it will be alright. I will make it to the finish alive.

That being said, my race strategy is pretty simple. Fuel smart, and stick like glue to the four hour pace group. Easy right?

Edmarathon Training: 4 Weeks out!

With less than four weeks to go the fear has set in. I can't help but wonder what in the world I was thinking 4 months ago. Why am I putting myself through this again!

I only have one long run left (26km) and four long-ish runs left (16km) two of which are tempo runs, two speed interval days and the rest is just easy slow paced running.

I do not have a lot of marathon experience, but what I do know, is that 32+ kilometre (20+ miles) training runs are not for me. I don't look forward to them, and I don't enjoy the second half where I feel like part of the cast of The Walking Dead.  So this time around I decided to follow the Hansons Marathon Method. I borrowed the book from the library, read it cover to cover twice, and I was sold. The main gist of the plans is cumulative fatigue. The farthest run you ever do is 26km (16 miles) and you only do that three times (I think... it might be 4, don't quote me). The theory is that this 26km is training your body to run the last 26km of a marathon, not the first 26km. In order to achieve this illusion, you run a lot! 6x a week, each run at least 10km or more, so that your legs are really tired going into those long runs.

I can be really dedicated when I choose to be so I have only missed two days of running in the last 6 weeks. I took one extra day off last week because my calf muscle was feeling super painful and tight, so I took an extra day to ice and stretch to try and avoid injury, and I took one other day off because I was having some serious nausea/stomach issues, and could not contemplate leaving the house (I think I may have given myself mild heat exhaustion, I definitely should have worn a hat and drank more water on my long run the day prior. But other than that I have made it out the door 6x a week for 4 weeks and 5x a week for two weeks, which adds up to a lot of running.

So here's the thing. Even though I know in my mind, and have the proof on paper that I have put in the training, for example, after my run today I will have run approximately 310km this month. This is the most kilometres I have ever run in a month by 60km! that's huge! I am feeling strong. My legs feel tough, I have pushed through and finished long runs on extremely sore and tired legs, and unless something terrible happens, I am pretty much guaranteed a PR, and somehow I am still freaking out.

I need to learn to put less pressure on myself and just have fun. I think the thing is. Training for a marathon is a big commitment. I have poured so much time and effort into training that I feel like anything less than perfection on race day would be pointless. And that is a lot of pressure, so if anyone can tell me how to train for 4-6 months for one day and not feel overwhelmed, I would really like to know the secret.

I'll keep running though, with less than four weeks to go, not even my own fears could stop me. (260-ish kilometres to go before that start line.)