Saturday, October 24, 2009
Expo, Shake-out run, and reflections about training
Yesterday I went to the Healthy and Fitness Expo at the Washington Convention Center to pick up all of my pre-race stuff (i.e. racing chip, t-shirt, and bib number). I didn't have to wait in line at all – yahoo! There were the usual vendors there: Nike, Asics, Addidas, etc, as well as lots of companies offering sample food and drinks, which meant I certainly got all of the vitamins and whatnot that I needed for the day.
But the cool thing for me was that that I got to meet and speak to Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run Boston and to work her way down from a 4:20 to 2:51 marathon over the years. She wrote Marathon Woman, which is one of my favorite books, and she has turned into one of my big role models, both as a runner and as an innovator. While I was waiting for her, to finish up a radio interview, I met her husband Roger Robinson, a runner and writer as well. He was really nice and introduced me to the MCM race director. Anyways, when I first met Kathrine (and yes, that's how her name is spelled – her father forgot to put the “e” in when he filled out her birth certificate), she gave me a big hug. We talked a bit about running and the marathon, and she gave some good advice. Not in the pace sense or tips about hydrating, but about the bigger picture of running. She also signed my book and wrote,
Here's to a BQ...no matter what, it's a victory already and the results are magic. Go for it!
She asked me if I understood what that meant, meaning that training is a victory of itself, and the results are the successes in life itself. While it sounds a little cheesy, I feel like we would actually get along really well if we got to work together. She was really nice, and I hope that I can meet her again. It was very exciting and good motivation.
Today was my shake-out run with a few of the editors from Runner's World (including Mark Remy, Jennifer VanAllen, and Bart Yasso) and people doing the Marathon Challenge. Met some good people and we did a really easy 3 miles around the National Mall. It felt and it was nice to slow and just chat and relax. People were from all over the country, and it was fun to chat and hear how everyone's training went. Bart was nice and treated us to Starbucks after, so we just hung out and chatted for a bit. The editors also gave some last minute advice, as well as water and Gatorade, and the new issue of Runner's World! So that will be fun to read today/tomorrow as I lounge and get ready.
It is hard to believe that the marathon is less than 24 hours away. Since July, when my official training started, I have put in about 600 miles of running in order to prep for tomorrow. I have been looking forward to this day for so long, and now it is almost here. I remember standing in July and October 25th seemed so far away – I could not wait. Of course, in a marathon and in marathon training, patience is not a virtue – it is a necessity. So I reeled myself in and took my training one week and one run at a time. I cannot convey enough my gratitude to everyone who has supported me throughout this process. Whether it's been an e-mail or note, or friends who let me go on and on about training or sent me letters of encouragement, or my family who has always supported me, it has been wonderful, and I am so grateful.
With less than 24 hours to go, the name of the game is eating/drinking/stretching/resting. I will be taking it very easy. My parents get in in a few hours, and I cannot wait to see them.
Tomorrow is going to be great. The weather is going to be perfect, the course is gorgeous, the leaves are changing, and I am ready to go. I have done all I can to prepare for this. Tomorrow is the victory lap, and I cannot wait!