As the last few hundreths of a mile ticked off the treadmill this morning, I started smiling very broadly. Just like that, I had finished my last training run for the Austin Marathon.
It was a completely uneventful workout by any standard. I started and finished at the same speed. Once or twice, I thought about bumping the speed a bit, just to be done earlier, but I kept my hands away from the controls and zoned out to the sounds of Girl Talk. I sweat like a maniac, because for some reason it was really hot in the gym, but I didn't care. Actually, it was probably for the best, given the forecast:
Should be interesting.
Nearing the day of the race, there are two things that are very different when compared to the last marathon I ran. The first, and most important, is that I actually trained this time around, which changes everything. I don't remember a whole lot about the days leading up to Columbus, but I know I did not have the physical strength that I have cultivated over the last twelve weeks. I was running solely on the basis of the fact that I'd always been able to make my body do what was needed of it. I could run all day as long as I paced myself and didn't stop.
This time around, I know I can make the distance because my body is conditioned for it. My legs are strong. My cardiovascular system is up to the challenge. I barely lost any breath on my run this morning. I am physically ready.
The other thing, almost as important, is that I am mentally ready for one major reason: I know I've done this before. And that was without the aforementioned physical readiness. I really believe in myself this time around. It's more than a novelty "thing" that I'm doing. This is not just to say that I did it. This one is to be better and to build a strong base for a long journey ahead. I'm so excited, I can hardly contain myself.
I've had trouble focusing on anything else the last couple days. I have to keep refocusing myself in things like work and rehearsal. This will happen any time you spend a significant amount of time preparing for something and then realize it's almost there. I was looking at my training record today, and I had such a sense of accomplishment that, regardless of the outcome on Sunday, I feel good about this season. As long as I finish, I'll be content.
That being said, I do have some goal times that I'm hoping to make, and I'll be disappointed a bit if I don't hit them. If I'm going to qualify for Boston, especially since they're screwing with things now, then I've got to get on pace for that.
But that's not what this Sunday is about. This Sunday is about my rebirth as a runner. It's about my rededication to the sport. It's about me.
Indoors / Treadmill
22 Minutes, 30 Seconds