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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pre-marathon check-list, 2011 version

Last year this checklist detailed my (lack of) preparation for the Mardi Gras marathon.
When I re-read that post, I couldn't believe how injured and miserable I was for that race! I remember the knee swelling as being particularly painful during the marathon; I ran with a brace but it actually came un-done the swelling was so severe. I am SO thankful to have that behind me.

This year, I'm a little less prepared, though.

I have to work all week leading up to the race. It fell on my weekend to work, which means I work Saturday and Sunday and get Thursday and Friday off. But obviously I need off on Sunday, so I swapped and I'm working Friday to be off Sunday. Standing all day at work leads to leg fatigue, and I won't be getting a lot of rest. I'm particularly worried about the 9.5 hour shift on Saturday. I will be exhausted!

My schedule also means I can only squeeze in an expo visit after work on Friday - not ideal - and I'm not sure if I can give Abe a ride. Today is Abe's birthday, so I was hoping to combine an expo trip with a birthday dinner for him. I need to change corrals at the expo, something I used to think was silly. But I registered last year before I'd ever run a marathon, and I put my estimated finish time at 4:15. I definitely want to beat that on Sunday and in fact am considering an attempt for 3:30 (which would be easier if, you know, I had done a single training run!). I want to move up because last year I sat in that corral for SO long. There wasn't water or bathrooms in the corrals and it was not fun at all. So I guess I'll be a tool and ask for a corral change.

I haven't even glanced at all the final details for this race - drop off, road closures, corrals, and other nonsense. I'm mentally unprepared for this race. And I haven't spent two seconds thinking about what I'll be wearing - except I know what shoes I'll be in. Despite my blisters and swollen toe, I will be running in my Karhu's. This is part of my experiment to move gradually to minimalist shoes for all my running. More on that later!
Me freezing to death before the Harrisburg marathon. Sunday should be warmer!

And yes, I'll be running hurt again. Silly me. My knee actually started to hurt again and obviously needs rest (after which it will be fine I'm sure). It can rest after the marathon though, so Sunday it will just have to hurt and I will just have to suck it up. That's all that's really injured, but a few little things went wrong this week. I switched to a pair of heavy, supportive shoes for a 5-miler, thinking they would ease the knee pain. Instead, everything felt off - I felt like I was jarring every part of my body. As I neared the end of the run, I actually pulled something in my neck. Does that ever happen to you? It sucks. I hate running with  a hurt neck because the bouncing irritates it.

So I'm not expecting this to be my most comfortable race. I'm kind of not ready (Someone remind me that I would have been ready if I'd actually run the runs I was supposed to). Have you ever raced not-rady? How did it go? Tell me your story!


  1. Good luck! You are a smart cookie, so this probably goes w/out saying, but definitely listen to your body when you are running the marathon! I hope it goes well!

    The only race I've done that i wasn't really ready for was a 1/2 marathon the spring after my full marathon. I really did not train for it and it really showed... Eeks that was a horrible race.

  2. I guess I'm as ready as I'll ever be...although I certainly need to go to the expo on Friday and go buy Gu on Sat. I wish I'd bought new shoes about 6 weeks ago b/c my injured foot (which is mostly better) twinges when I put my running shoes on. I think foot wise that I'll get through the race, but that I'm gonna be hurting next week!
    I've had so much other crazy stuff going on in my non-fitness life that I haven't really thought that much about the actual Marathon, which is preventing me from getting nervous at least!

  3. I don't know whether to wish you luck or send an ambulance. :)

  4. Oh gosh Gracie! Good luck, I'll be thinking about you this weekend. Can't wait for the race report. Are you icing your knee or anything leading up to it?

  5. You seem to be psyching yourself out for no reason. You can shift your mental preparedness. You got time.

  6. can't believe the doc wont let me run in it.

    I'll be there though, cheering you on!!

  7. LOL - you look absoltuly miserable in that picture.

    Visualize yourself finishing, everything else will fall into place.

  8. GOOD LUCK!! Be careful with that knee!! Bummer about so much work but girl, you are going to ROCK IT!!!

  9. i don't like feeling pressed for time before a marathon! hope things went smoothly, or at least smoothly-enough, and have a great race today!