The Boston marathon is less than 3 weeks away! After Saturday’s 20 mile long run, I officially began to taper. In most marathon programs, runners complete a final long run (~20 miles) 3 weeks before the race. Then, they begin to reduce mileage and rest up. This weekend my training schedule calls for a 13 mile long run, followed by an 8 mile long run the next week, and then an easy 3 miler the day before the race.
Although I’ve logged many miles over the past 13 weeks, I can’t help feeling nervous about the distance. During the NYC marathon, my quads felt like mince meat after mile 18. Add in the nagging injuries that I’ve been dealing with and before you know it I’m freaking out. I actually had nightmares in the week before the NYC marathon. In some dreams I overslept and missed the start. In another dream, I sprained my ankle at mile 7. I’m trying to think positively and be pro-active with stretching, strengthening, and rest.
Whether I feel nervous or not, the race is fast approaching! Today I received an update email from the Boston Athletic Association. At the official race expo, runners will receive their race numbers, t-shirts, and official program. In the Official Program of the 2009 race, past champions offer advice to Boston Marathon rookies Ryan Hall and Kara Goucher. Perhaps these words of wisdom will put my mind at ease! Here’s what they have to say:
John J. Kelley (1957 champion): I always carried a book from which I could draw race-eve inspiration and divert my thoughts. My favorite was Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden.”
Fatuma Roba (1997, ’98, ’99 champion): Conserve your energy for the last hilly places after 37K (23 miles). Run smart, and you will do well.
Alberto Salazar (1982 champion): Be patient. Don’t go out too fast. By forcing yourself to go slower, you’re creating less damage on your legs and you’re able to run a faster time by negative splitting.
Joan Benoit Samuelson (1979, ’83 champion): Just run. It’s all about letting the heart lead over the hills.
Question of the day: Do you have a favorite quote or piece of advice?