Thursday, November 01, 2007

Marathon panic update: three days left

As the week began I was feeling pretty nervous about the upcoming marathon -- it was like a low rumbling underlying everything else that was going on. I felt anxious, like a squirrel, or someone who lives in southern California.

But as the week has progressed, as I've made an effort to sleep as much as possible and battle the potential head cold I'm feeling, I'm gaining some confidence. Today L and I went to the marathon expo, which was remarkable: every brand of shoe you had ever heard of set up their own shopping area, other marathons were advertising, and people had all sorts of products to sample and try: insoles, energy bars, sports drinks, gels, sunglasses, shoes, water, even beer. I bought a wicking-away running shirt from my fave running shoe company, Brooks, and later on we got it customized down at Paragon Sports (after a ride on their complementary shuttle). Now my shirt says, RUN MIKE RUN. Also at Paragon, they had a complimentary "Runners' Lunch," including pizza, bagels, bananas, apples, and water. We all ate as if we had just finished a race (and, uh, ordered a pizza) even though the most activity any of us had was taking off our jackets to try on running shirts.

Oh, one fun thing to look for at the marathon: oblivious people from other countries, who were bonking around the expo all day and seem ready to make a big splash at the race. Try to run in a general forward direction, everybody!

I'm looking forward to the marathon. We watched a documentary on PBS (we're big PBS fans in our house, naturally) featuring real, everyday, lazy people who spent nine months training for the Boston marathon, and by the time these people crossed the finish line, sobbing and running with their families and kids besides them, L and I were getting emotional too. This evening I just spent twenty minutes at the gym bouncing around on the elliptical, which is the last training thing I have to do in my eighteen-week plan. Now I'm ready for a big run, I'm ready to push my body after a fairly easy couple weeks of tapering.

I think the pieces are starting to come together here: my body is ready physically, mentally I feel like I understand the challenge and am ready to tackle it, and emotionally, as I mentioned before, I'm choking up at marathon tv shows. If that's not adequate preparation, then I just don't know what to tell you.

This is the marathon!

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