So.. again I know its been quite a while since my last post- life has been absolutely crazy the last few weeks, so much so that I was starting to consider possibly withdrawing from the marathon. I had lost the excitement and was finding myself with new injuries at each run- most likely because my stress level was so high! I didn’t want to give up though because I’ve put so much work into the preparation that it would be a shame to put the race off for a year and have to prepare all over again next year.
Yesterday I went for a nice run and it reminded me of how unbelievable this next week is going to be and it got me really excited again to run this race. I headed out for an hour and a half run – I had originally planned on running along the West Side Highway but as I headed outside I decided to go to Central Park instead. As I was warming up outside the park I saw this sign, which put a big smile on my face:
Then, as I started running into the park I saw orange signs on the lamp posts. Being as I was running into the park I couldn’t see what was written on the signs until I turned around :
That also got me quite excited. They were hung on all of the lamp posts and it was wonderful running next to them thinking that next weekend I’d be alongside the other 47,000 runners following the marathon route!
The park in general looked absolutely beautiful with all of the fall foliage. The leaves were all changing to orange, red and yellow.
As I passed Engineers’ Gate on 90th street, I snagged a picture of the Fred Lebow statue. Fred Lebow was the founder of the New York City Marathon and in fact ran the inaugural marathon himself and placed 45th out of the 55 finishes- can you believe it now has 47,000 runners?! My friend Cristina is actually running on Fred’s Team, which was established to raise money for research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and to honor Fred Lebow who died of cancer in 1994.
My run itself also went quite well yesterday. For the first time in my last few runs, my feet felt good. I’ve had quite a bit of foot pain the last few weeks and was starting to get quite concerned. Hopefully, that’s behind me now! I cut my run short to an hour instead of an hour and half, just to play it safe. I got to six and a half miles and felt it was better not to push it.
The end of my run finished close to Tavern on the Green, which is where the marathon ends. I ran past it and then ran back in the other direction to feel what the last few hundred feet of the marathon would feel like. There’s a little hill right before the finish, but at that point I think I’ll be so glad to see the finish line I won’t mind (at least that’s what I’m hoping!). The spectator stands are already up, and tourists were taking pictures pretending to run across the finish line (which isn’t up yet).
I wonder if they clear all the leaves up before the race, there are tons of leaves on the ground!
This weekend, other than running through the park and getting excited for the race, I focused on myself. The CCFA coach said that this is the week to be selfish, so I scheduled a massage at Bliss for today and enjoyed every minute of it. I got the Extreme Sports Massage, which I had never tried before and it was great. I also relaxed in the steam room and sauna for quite some time afterwards and indulged in a few too many of their mini brownies (those things are soooo good!).
I don’t think anyone ever feels 100% ready for a big race, I know I never do, no matter how hard I train or how many races I run. I’m doing everything I can to stay relaxed in this last week. I’m making sure to always have a full glass of water next to me so that I am well hydrated. I’m also trying to focus on my nutrition, this last week I’m having at least one protein shake per day and I think I’ll increase my egg consumption too cause they say protein is really important. I’m also going to try and go to bed early, although with everything that’s on my mind these days, sleep has been pretty hard to come by, and I’m avoiding sleeping pills because my Dr. said its not good to take those (or caffeine or alcohol) in the days leading up to the race.
I’ve stocked up on Sports Beans and I’m 99% sure on my race day outfit. This evening, we found an old ski suit which hasn’t gotten much use in quite some time, so I’ll be wearing that pre-race on the Verrazano bridge. All clothes that runners discard on the bridge are donated so it will go to good use afterwards. My chiropractor told me that ski suits are the best thing to wear in the morning to keep warm. I’ll be on that bridge for about 4 hours so I really don’t want to get cold.
As usual, I’ve also jazzed out my race day singlet so that spectators can call out my name and people behind me can see why I’m running.
The last thing on my to do list was to swing by the apple store for a backup plan in case my iPhone battery bails on me mid race. I purchased an iPod shuffle, for $53.35 (including tax) which was well worth the peace of mind. Maybe my iPhone will work the entire race but I’d rather be safe than sorry, because if my music fails at mile 16 I can see myself in a world of panic trying to finish the race! The man working at the apple store told me that I could actually return the shuffle within 14 days even if I had used it in the race- how crazy is that! He told me he sometimes purchases phone chargers when he’s going on a trip and returns them when he gets back.. I’m not sure if he should have been encouraging that sort of thing but oh well.. good to know!
So, hopefully by this time next week I’ll be a marathon finisher!
Any words of wisdom for me before the big day? Also, if you have any tips for me along the course they’d be much appreciated!