Sunday, October 11, 2009

2 weeks to go...

The Marine Corps Marathon is 2 weeks today, and other than schoolwork, it is the main thing on my mind. The excitement is building, especially as more info about the marathon (such as features about it in magazines, ads, etc) becomes available.
Yesterday, I ran 15 miles. It was a good, long run. I felt nice and strong and comfortable with the pace. My only challenge was the wind (around 20mph), which was especially evident going over the bridges. This was a time where being petite was not in my favor; I felt like I was just getting pushed around, and certainly had to fight and work harder. But, come marathon day there will be other people out there who can help take some of the wind and it won't just be me taking it all in. I was happy, overall with how it went, and it did raise my confidence a bit (I was a little dissatisfied with my 21 mile run). This next week of running marks another decrease in my mileage. This past week I ran 45 miles, and this coming week I will run 32 miles in total. I am also done with weight lifting for this training season. It's important at this point to just let those muscles rest and recover. I am going to take this week to get in the pool and swim the time I would've spent lifting/running. I know my body will appreciate the non-impact aspect of the pool, and my muscles always just feel relieved when I get in the water.
Today was the World Half-Marathon Championship and the Chicago Marathon. Because of I was able to watch them both, even though they took place in London and Chicago, respectively. It's incredible to think that the elite men can run 13.1 miles in under an hour. The women's race was cool too - the winner broke away about halfway into the race, and just ran on her own for the majority of the race. This was pretty interesting: the second place woman was drafting behind her, and the winner kept gesturing, as if to say "Stop drafting! Get in front, do the hard work I'm doing for a while" The second place woman would do it for 30 seconds, then tuck back behind the winner. The winner was clearly not pleased by this, but it was really fascinating to watch the two of them interact.
The Chicago Marathon was great to watch. Sammy Wanjiru was out to break the world record, and had a few pacers out there with him for the first half, and boy were they going at a fast clip. One of the pacers even fell back - he couldn't keep up. Wanjiru did not break the world record, but he broke the course record (by 1 second) and so in addition to the $75k prize for winning, he won an extra $100k for breaking the course record. Talk about a payday! And he is using all of the money to help his family and village in Africa, so good for him for earning so much money. While none of the American women made it to the podium, 3 women made it to the top 10, including Deena Kastor. I was so happy that she made it through the marathon and was able to push through everything (she broke her foot in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Marathon). Watching 45,000 people go through the race was just awesome, and definitely helped to pump me up for my own marathon.
2 weeks to go! It's definitely a bizarre feeling at this point to look back at all of the training behind me. I remember early July looking at all of the training ahead of me and October seemed forever away. Now I'm standing on the other end of training and looking back. Maybe this is a stretch, but you really change over the course of marathon training. Your attitude and mentality changes, your lifestyle changes, and your body transforms as it learns how to go faster, push harder, and run longer. There are still 2 weeks to go in my preparation, but it does feel good to look back and observe the progress I've made. It's necessary too, because it reminds me why I keep going out there every day. 13 more days...

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