My Final Marathon Prep

Chicago marathon

I’m writing this as I sit in my hotel room in New York City, the day before the marathon. I had the best intentions to chronicle my marathon training regularly over the past 12 weeks but as you may have noticed, that just didn’t happen. Life has been crazy busy (read: work has been crazy busy) and I haven’t had much time to do anything but sleep, eat, work and run over the past few months. On the plus side, my training has served as a great stress reliever – I may have gone crazy without a training plan to try to stick to. On the downside, I sometimes struggled to squeeze in all of my workouts and my eating habits have not been as healthy as they should be (for me, stress also means eating a lot of chocolate), so I have actually gained a couple pounds instead of losing a few – I had really hoped to be running the marathon at about 10 pounds lighter than I currently am!

My training has been up and down. My 18 mile long run was physically challenging (could barely walk by the end) and my Garmin died at mile 17, leaving me with all sorts of worries about doing my 20 miler two weeks later. That run was incredibly mentally challenging. I had to carry more of my own Gatorade because the Fleet Feet tables along the lakefront path were done for the year. I experienced a good amount of “digestive discomfort” (I’ll spare you the details!) and was stressed out over which restrooms might still be open along the path and whether I would need to detour into downtown to find one. I wasn’t sure if my Garmin would last the whole run and the MapMyRun app on my phone was horribly inaccurate (it said I did 21.45 miles while my Garmin said I did 20!)

On the plus side, I finished feeling physically strong (even did miles 13-17 at marathon pace) and the fact that I pushed through the mental roadblocks made me feel good. And the next day, I went out to cheer on friends running the Chicago Marathon, which got me into a great frame of mind for New York!

Cubs sign

Then I got sick. I skipped several runs the next week, including a 10 mile long run, with a sore throat, cough and head cold. I headed to Washington, D.C. for work and got in a three mile easy run and a six mile interval run, both much slower than normal. I also had to stand for hours at a time at two work events, which triggered some of the back and hip issues that I’ve been dealing with since last spring. While my eight mile run last Sunday with my friend Mindy felt good as I was running, within a few hours my hip was really sore.

Washington monument

I spent last week doing everything I could to alleviate my back and hip discomfort – lots of yoga, trying to stay off my feet, applying an anti-inflammatory gel that has worked wonders in the past and limiting my workouts to just one elliptical workout and a short 30 minute run in New York last night. I walked 30 minutes each way to and from the expo this morning rather than do a last short run this morning.

So I am a bit nervous for tomorrow! I am competitive with myself by nature and I have a time goal in my head, so it will be hard for me to not be disappointed if I struggle and don’t come close to it. I am hoping the energy from the crowd and the overall atmosphere will be enough to help push me through! And I’m going to try really hard to just soak everything in and enjoy the experience, regardless of my time.

Finally, thank you to everyone for their words of support on Twitter and Facebook and thank you to those who have donated to buildOn – the non-profit that I am running the marathon for. I’m not quite to my fundraising goal yet, so if you have a minute to give a few dollars (https://www.crowdrise.com/BuildOnNYC2015/fundraiser/katieaune), I’d really, really appreciate it!

p.s. if you want to track my progress tomorrow, download the TCS NYC Marathon app for your phone or sign up for runner tracking at http://liveresults.nyrr.org/e/NY2015#/tracker.

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