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Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Sixty hours from now, if all goes well, I will be crossing the 50-yard line of Notre Dame Stadium.

My flight (and subsequent train ride) are tomorrow, so tonight, I'm making sure that I've got all of my equipment put together. I'm developing a packing list before actually putting things in the bag to minimize the chance of forgetting something.

Even though I'm flying Southwest, in which my bags will fly free, I have no intention of checking a bag. First off, you should never check your race gear. You can't just buy a new pair of shoes and run a marathon in them, so you should never let those out of your grasp, and you would be surprised at how much the wrong pair of shorts can throw you off your game. That stuff gets put in a briefcase that gets chained to my wrist. Everything else is of less importance, but I've got a time crunch in my travel, and I am staying two hours from the airport, so recovering a lost bag, regardless of the low chance of loss, would be a huge pain. No risk for me.

In addition to my wardrobe for the next five days, I've also been giving my race plan a lot of attention this evening. I'm studying my planned gel stops carefully to make sure I take my gel shortly before water stops, spaced out evenly enough to maximize energy output without putting too much in my stomach. I've planned and trained for each one of these, and it would be awful to screw them up on race day.

Honestly, most of my time right now is being spent staring at countless numbers on an Excel spreadsheet trying to get some sort of secret out of them. It's like I'm staring at a code, waiting for that moment that the perfect solution arises. But the truth is, there's nothing left to cram for. There is no cramming for the marathon. There are only the 950 miles that I've run since my last marathon; months of work leading up to one beautiful morning with, at present, a near-perfect forecast.

Tomorrow is travel. Friday is acclimation.

Saturday is victory.

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