Monday, April 12, 2010

The Final Week

That was the subject of the e-mail sent to me regarding my final week of training:
You should definitely feel confident going into the race. You've put in good work, you've PRed in the half and you've already raced hilly marathons.

Monday, April 12: swim

Tuesday, April 13: 2.5 mile warm-up; 1x1200, 1x800, 4x400; aim for 5:40, 3:38, and 1:44. Take a lap after the 1200 and 800, 200 meters after the 400s. 2.5 miles cool-down. Total=8 miles

Wednesday, April 14: 6 miles easy

Thursday, April 15: OFF

Friday, April 16: 4 miles easy

Saturday, April 17: 3 miles easy

Sunday, April 18: 2 mile shake-out

Monday, April 19: RACE BOSTON! Goal: 3:35.

The final week is here! Somehow, I have manged to stay somewhat sane during the taper, and I think that is because life has been so busy. I have started to look for an apartment for next year in DC. That is because I found out that I have a TA position next year, which means that I can afford to start my PhD in the fall. So once I take my master's exams this summer, I will start the PhD program here. Just like the marathon, it will be a long process, but I will get there. Anyways, the TA position is a great opportunity, not just for the funding, but it will actually get me to the front of the classroom. I won't teach all of the time, but I'll get to lead discussion groups, advise students with papers, grade, etc. Not sure which class I'll be working with yet, but hopefully one of the medieval ones. Anyways, it is exciting, and I look forward to starting that position.
The Boston Marathon is one week away. I found an old post of mine after watching the Boston Marathon last year,
It is my intention to be in the 2010 Boston Marathon. I think that is why I was so excited about it today, because I hope to be there next year. 12 minutes to slice off my time, and then I will be there. A lot of work will need to be done between now and then, but that's the dream. Yes, there are those who go to Boston to win, but for most, it's the ability to get there that is what counts. This is the Olympics for the regular marathoner, and I want to be there.

I am going to be there. This is unbelievable.
For comfort, I started rereading Marathon Woman by Kathrine Switzer for the umpteenth time. When she was training for the 1975 Boston Marathon, she was running 100 miles week, and in her peak (she ended up with a PR of 2:51). This was how she looked when she finished (2nd overall).
This is what she said about her training that spring,
I felt expansive, powerful, and long-limbed. I was very lean and fit now and felt both light and super-strong. Nothing hurt anymore; I was recovering quickly from all my hard runs...I was eating like a horse. At the office cafeteria, I needed the kind of hot meal the workmen had, things like stuffed pork chops smothered in gravy, to keep up my strenth, and then I'd eat another dinner in the evening. The workouts were flying by-indeed, they were much faster-and the air was full of spring and sweet blossom smells. I had the radio on full blast every morning when I was in the shower, and if they played Maxine Nightingale's 'Right Back Where We Started From,' I knew I'd have a lucky day; the tune would stick in my head for the afternoon intervals and make me feel happy the whole time.
I have read that passage again and again, and every time I do, I get excited. Not only is it inspiring, but I have had similar feelings during this training. I have those hot lunches too...steak and potatoes, and then am ready for a big dinner too. I somehow can recover from hard workouts quickly, and run good intervals even 3 days after a half marathon. I have gotten stronger. Every time "Come on Eileen" comes is going to be a good day. Kathrine may have been going for a sub 3 hour marathon, but I am going for a PR too. I am ready. I have worked and worked...and I am ready. I've got the excitement, I've got the training, and it is almost time for my Boston debut. Time to put on "Come on Eileen."

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