Settling In – NYC Marathon

Posted: November 4, 2011 in Training
Tags: , ,

It seems like the more marathons I run, the more challenges the race sends my way.

This go round it is in the form of a cold I have come down with just days before the race. What started as a case of the sniffles in Austin on Tuesday is now a stuffed up sinus cold that has me taking medication and trying to stay hydrated.

I’ve run many times with head colds and in the past it really hasn’t bothered me very much while “underway”, it is more a hassle at this point than anything and is effecting my sleep as I am waking up a few times each night with a clogged nasal passage.

I keep telling myself not to let it get to me, don’t let it distract you as you have never been more ready to run the marathon. There is a little part of me however that is concerned as I know that the marathon is a cruel race.

It does not discriminate. It attacks the weakness in every runner, whether it is a sore knee, a tight hamstring or an undertrained athlete. It shows no mercy and mile after mile it slowly grinds you down.

I am now settled in at our hotel – I’m fully unpacked and even have my race gear ready to go, bib attached to our shorts and even our bag check bag is ready with a few odds and ends I will have to add on race morning.

I’ve scouted out the subway route via the R Train to the Staten Island Ferry and know where we are going to pick-up our bagels for pre race breakfast I and II prior to the race.

All that is really left is tomorrow’s short 2-mile shakeout to get the blood flowing to the legs, and easy day of resting in the afternoon tomorrow and then a great pre-race meal at Tony DiNapoli’s in Mid Town.

If I could catch a break and have this cold move on out I would feel like I was as close to 100% perfect as I have ever been for a race. There is a little voiced inside my head however that is telling me that this cold may just be a factor after all.

I’m hoping that once the gun fires and it is go-time, any uncomfortable pressure and nagging stuffiness in my head becomes just a pre-race footnote to the 2011 NYC Marathon.

The weather is perfect, our training cycle was “best-ever”, so we should be primed for a good race performance on Sunday. To play it safe I’m thinking about taking the first half of the race out around 7:02-7:05 pace instead of 6:52-6:58 and settling in to guard against any early flaming out.

I should know by the time we reach mile 8 and the Blue, Orange and Green courses join together whether we are ready to drop pace and make a run at 3 hours. If not, we’ll continue to run by feel and go for the big PR.

Either way, Sunday is going to be a big day for me – I’m determined to do my absolute best and leaving it all out on the course. By the time I have my daughter in my arms after the finish, I hope to be the best marathoner I have ever been.

Somehow I know that if that is the case, there won’t be a whole lot to be disappointed about no matter what the clock has to say.

About 42 hours to go time – time to get right and get ready to run the race of our life.

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