Wednesday, April 29, 2009

OMG - I'm Running a Marathon!

So here it is. On Saturday I’m running the Rotorua Marathon.

I haven’t posted anything here since returning from my holiday (sorry Kate), simply because I’ve been all over the place both physically and mentally. I got through my peak week of training on sheer willpower, with my body fraying at the edges. I took a few days off, conquered the Grape Ride, and then the theory was that I would fit my training runs in around road tripping down to the South Island to my father-in-law’s vineyard in Bannockburn to help with harvest.

The day after the Grape Ride I was supposed to run 23km. I think I managed around 7. In Lake Tekapo I lurched panting and red faced around the side of the lake in a freezing gale, wondering why it all felt so hard. 15km was all I was good for. The next morning there was five inches of snow on the ground, so running was again out of the question. When we made it to Methven that afternoon there was a horrendous northwest gale blowing down long straight, soul destroying roads, so again I didn’t run.

After that things got worse. There were times when I didn’t run at all for a couple of days in a row. The runs that I did fit in were pretty horrendous. They weren’t long enough and I battled nausea, cramp and shortness of breath. I was so annoyed with myself for missing out on the opportunity to explore the beautiful back roads and trails of Central Otago. What a waste …

Instead I got into holiday mode. I ate too much, drank too much, put on weight I could ill afford. I also spent three wonderful days walking up and down long rows picking grapes. I enjoyed myself immensely, when I wasn’t beating myself up about not sticking to the programme.

Back home and I threw myself into a panicked attempt at regaining lost ground. In theory I was supposed to be tapering, but how could I taper from a holiday of minimal distance? So yes, I gave in to paranoia and my runs ended up being slightly longer, slightly hillier, slightly faster. The good news was that they all felt great. Finally, on the last possible day, I made the call and signed up for the marathon. I knew that I’d feel worse if I pulled out than if I’d entered and struggled to finish.

I’ve spent this week trying to battle the nerves, and trying to get into a constructive mindset. On the one hand I’m really, really happy and excited to be doing this. On the other I feel terribly undercooked. There’s a reason why most training programmes are 16 weeks long! I would like to have done a few more 28km+ runs. I’m also wishing the long runs I did do were hillier. I wish that my hip weren’t still bugging me.

When it comes down to it I’m just going to have to go out tough it out. Unlike Frayed Laces before Boston I can at least walk without excruciating pain! I want to go out there and have fun. I don’t want to spend the whole 42.2km cursing myself for not training enough, or for deciding to enter in the first place. All I have to do is keep placing one foot in front of the other. If that means walking bits then so be it.

People around me have been very interested in my time goals. The correct response is of course that time doesn’t matter. However there are times floating around in my head. There’s the time I might eventually be capable of, the time I would like to do the marathon in and an outer-limit time. At the moment I think I’m likely to finish somewhere between the second and third figures.

Right now I just have to focus on not losing it before I even get to the finish. In the past I’ve really good at being my own worst enemy on race day. I haven’t made things easy on myself either as I’ve been running around madly trying to organise too many things this week. My green headband went missing (I suspect the cat stole it), I still haven’t worked out how I’m going to carry all my gels and extra medication, and yesterday I suddenly realised there isn’t a microwave in the hotel room, leaving my usual breakfast option out of the question.

Really, I just need to chill out, accept that I can’t control everything, and go out there and have fun. I’m running a marathon! OMG!


Kate said...

I am so excited for (and jealous of) you! Rotorua is awesome, and you are going to love it!

SUB6 said...

Rotorua is the best* marathon I have ever done. It's only the b@st@rd hill in the middle .. oh and the one near the end that makes it so tough. There might be one near the start as well but I'm sure the rest is quite flat. Am I making you feel better :)

I'm sure you'll do great ... I don't know why people get so hung up about finishing times (haha) ... just go out and enjoy it ... but obviously nothing too much over 5 hours eh? :)

Like Kate I'm very jealous that you're running it. It was supposed to be on my list this year. Maybe next :)

Have a GREAT race!

* albeit my only marathon!

Bruce said...

Great, it seems most people struggle to get an 'ideal' build up in and yours sounds like it was certainly not one out of the training manual. All the best though and hope you enjoy the experience ( at least I'm sure you will when its done!).

leonie said...

yes you are.

and like you said in your email to me, it all started with a small duathlon...

celebrate it babe, however you do, and you know i'm celebrating with you!


Aaron said...

Good luck!