Streaking towards the end of 2012

No, put your hats back on, I don’t mean that I’m running naked for the next four and a half weeks. I mean, I might, were it not entirely too chilly – think of the visibility! And the total lack of a need to do laundry! Hmmm…

Kidding, kidding. Something far less lascivious is going on, I regret to say.

Last week I started a running streak, as I alluded to in my last post, spurred entirely by the folks at Runner’s World who posed a challenge on Twitter: start a streak on Thanksgiving, and run at least one mile every day until New Year’s Day. Because I am an overachiever (or I was just stressed out, or wanted to sharpen myself for last week’s Turkey Trot), I started my streak last Tuesday, November 20. I’ve run 36.1 miles since then (and yes, that 0.1 is important, haha), and I feel no signs of wanting or needing to stop any time soon. I’m sort of wondering if this maybe might be the sort of thing I continue into 2013 – it’s another goal, right? And I need those in Life After The Marathon, though I already have one (set a new half-marathon PR in March. No, wait, I have two: break 5:00 in my next marathon. Hmmm.). I’m quickly approaching the goal of getting to the 1,000-mile mark for this year, which I think is just nuts, especially since there’s still an entire month still left to go in 2012.

Anyway, I’d also said in my last post that I’d wanted to kick all sorts of ass at the Turkey Trot I’d signed up for on Thanksgiving morning. I won’t blather on about it too much, but here’s a picture of me at the finish (thank you to Saint and his smartphone camera):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I told Saint before the start of the race that I’d be pleased to break 27:00, and that my eventual goal in my running life was to someday post a time with the minutes starting at 25. I also maybe indicated that I thought I could finish in the top 5 for my age group.

What you see above is me finishing officially at 25:37 – my watch read around 26:10 but I got jostled at the start – and finishing 4th in my age group and 19th overall for gender. (!) (!!)  I couldn’t believe it, either: thank God the good people of Lake Norman, North Carolina aren’t as speedy as the people I usually run with, because I never ever ever would have thought of coming in the top 5 or top 20 for either my age group or overall gender pretty much, like, ever in my life.

So that was a pretty awesome start to the Thanksgiving holiday. 🙂

Also awesome was the Redskins’ evisceration of the Cowboys (that very nearly fell apart), a nice, long, easy run on the morning after Thanksgiving to burn off all that pumpkin pie and beer, a visit to the Biltmore Estate that afternoon, some nice, short runs in clean-air small-town Saluda, North Carolina, a lovely hike to see some beautiful waterfalls in the Pisgah National Forest, aaaaaand not one but two Cook Out milkshakes while road-tripping with Saint.

Since then, it’s been back to work and school (waaaaahhh) and streaking (woohoo!) and getting back to the gym to keep other stuff strong and working (ouch). After not having lifted weights or done extra core/leg work for three weeks, my body’s pretty pissed at me right now, but it’ll get over it. I guess it’s also starting to get to be the Christmas season, too, which I’ve been fighting pretty hard because I feel like it always just comes entirely too early, but I know damn well that I’m going to sit down and watch A Charlie Brown Christmas tonight and start getting all blubbery and stupid and open my arms to this totally overblown time of year. I’m hopeless…

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Back on the wagon!

I have, I think, finally come down from the post-marathon high and re-joined society. It was fun living in a little bubble last week, reading race recaps and combing through pictures, thinking back over those 26.2 miles and how awesome they were. Hey, you want pictures? I got pictures!

Me on the podium in the finish-line party area (and it was so much harder to get down those steps than up):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And hey, I found these old pictures of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge half I ran in October. Here’s my “normal” post-race shot:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here’s my “about to get my brains picked out!” shot:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyway. So, I took last week completely off from running, which was very much needed, but by the time I went back out for a run on Saturday morning, I also realized that that was very much needed. I had no planned route when I left the house; I decided to go wherever my feet felt like taking me, and stop when I got tired. Probably I overdid it, but I got in 8.5 miles without any problems, though parts of my legs are telling me I need to get a new pair of shoes soon. On Sunday I got up early for an easy 4-miler, which felt weird for two reasons: 1) I almost never run on Sundays; they’re my cross-training days, usually; 2) I knew from the beginning that it was going to be a quick run, since I was cold and trying to move faster to keep myself warm. It did end up being faster than I’d anticipated, which was nice. I like feeling goooood at the end of runs, no matter how short they are.

I took yesterday off, and was supposed to run a quick 3 today that turned into a quick 4, oops…  another quick 2 tomorrow, and then a Turkey Trot 5k on Thanksgiving morning. Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the first running challenge I’ve ever done: Runners’ World is doing a “running streak challenge”, in which you run at least one mile every day from Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day. I’ve never done a running streak before, so I’m interested in keeping one up; also, now is the right time to do something like this, since I’m not actively training for anything this month and next. (Whew.) And, double bonus, it will keep me moving through the holidays – there’s a lot of food and drink coming up in the next six weeks, and it’s all gotta go somewhere…

So yeah. That’s new and cool. I bought myself some capris and another pair of long pants for cold-weather running, since it’s occurred to me that in the absence of precipitation, I really do prefer to run outside, and there will be some days where shorts don’t quite cut it. Both pairs of capris have been tested, and I am pleased with them, since they kept my thighs nice and toasty while still letting everything breathe. It’s startling how much better you seem to run when you aren’t worried about being over- or under-dressed!

Also of note (and yes, I did tweet about this because it’s amusing to me): While running, I’ve worn capris twice and been been blatantly honked at twice. Coincidence? I think not. (thank you, squats!)

I’ll probably report back after the Turkey Trot; I have this absurd idea that I can try to win my age group, based on last year’s results, so I’ll let you know how that goes. Scintillating, no? 🙂

A slightly less insane reflection on my first marathon.

So, a few days have passed since The Marathon, and in case you couldn’t tell, I wrote the somewhat scattered recap while still in the first-24-hours-post-race flush of ecstasy. That’s why it makes no sense – total runner’s high babbling there! Now that I’ve had some time to recoup and read and re-read race recaps, I think I can reflect a little more accurately on my experience.

It’s been an arduous couple of days, though – I’ve been taking my PhD exams, and while I’m 2/3 of the way done with them, trying to focus my brain on everything I’ve learned in the past 5 years and make it seem coherent on paper has been damn difficult when all I want to do is sit back and replay those 26.2 miles in my head. I hope that when I’m old and still running marathons I’m able to tell people with a good degree of clarity what it was like to run my first, because I never want to forget how this feels. I *do* want to forget how awful taking comprehensive exams makes me feel, though; I’ve run the gamut of emotions this week for sure – total elation at having done something awesome! And then total defeat at feeling like I know nothing. And then more of the same the next day, plus total brain-deadedness. And all the while I’m pestered by a nagging thought: When can I get back out for my next run? (The answer to that question is Saturday; even though I feel like I could probably handle a run today or tomorrow, I am forcing my body to keep resting and recovering, and only letting it ride my bike to school tomorrow and Friday.)

Anyway. So, breaking down those 26.2 miles. First things first: I lucked out like whoa, because the weather was absolutely perfect. 45 degrees and sunny at the start, which meant shorts and a short-sleeved shirt and a light jacket and gloves. In retrospect, I should have taken the visor offered to me at mile 3 when I handed off my light jacket, but the sunburn has more or less gone away by now, and truth be told, I didn’t want to be wearing it when pictures were taken of me (it’s silly, isn’t it, how vain runners can be even when we know we’re going to look like shit during a race?). The temperature did heat up to about 65 by the time I finished, but I didn’t really feel it until well after I stopped and was standing in the sun for more than a minute at a time. I did feel bad for my support people, who had started out the day in cold-weather wear and were suddenly overheating by midday.    (Next time I’ll run faster. :))

But yeah, the weather: perfect. The course: perfect, and I was glad that I’d run a good deal of it in advance as well as scouted out the last 5 miles the night before. By the time I got to mile 21, I knew that if I didn’t know what was coming next – that is, if I hadn’t known that it was straight and flat and then downhill from there to the finish – I would have had a serious mental block in continuing. Knowing that the hard part was over and the easy part was ahead was a huge help, so in the future I’m going to try to educate myself about courses as much as possible.

The support I had was perfect, too, even if I did force them to endure all sorts of temperature differentials and wild goose chases (Saint’s parents took off after me on their bikes and still missed me, which I feel really bad about, even though they say they were thankful for the exercise!). So, the idea of going somewhere totally remote and running a marathon isn’t appealing to me – yet – until I get a few more of these under my belt and know better how I react without having people there (who know me) to cheer for me. I think I was totally spoiled in terms of the crowd in Richmond because they were truly amazing; the race’s logo is “America’s Friendliest Marathon”, and I do believe that is true. I’ve never felt so loved by total strangers before, and it helped a LOT.

That said, when things got tough, I was able to dig down and will myself into continuing. That’s HUGE. They say so much of running is mental, and while I learned that lesson in fits and starts during training, it didn’t really come together for me until mile 22. It’s good for me to know that where my legs may want to give up, my brain won’t let them – and considering how awesome I felt at the finish after all, it’s something I need to heed in the future. Plus, it’s kind of totally cool to know that, as cliched as it sounds, you really can do anything you put your mind to.

One thing I think I will do differently is eat/drink more, or at least experiment with different food during long runs. The Shot Bloks I use didn’t bother me during the race, and they never have, but I was feeling constantly hungry over those 26 miles – I ate nine of the bloks, starting at mile 6 and spaced every three miles until mile 24, with two apiece at miles 6 and 18 – and I was more thirsty than I’ve ever been on any long run before. I don’t usually drink water until mile 8 or 9 of a long run, and then every 3 miles or 30 minutes thereafter, which is what I did during the marathon, but by mile 22 I was feeling like I had to drink water at every stop, every mile. I’m very, very good about hydrating, and I know that I hydrated adequately in the days prior to the race, so I’m not sure what was going on there. I may start eating little bars or different types of gels, and might start using salt packets, too, for my next marathon training.

One thing I will *not* do differently is to keep running hills and doing squats and other glute exercises. Since starting them in September or October I’ve noticed a HUGE difference in my ability to run up hills consistently and strongly; whenever I get to the top of a hill I no longer feel like I want to puke, which is a very good thing. So, I will keep up with those, and possibly add more weights to my squats (right now I do them with free weights, but I’d like to start with a bar).

Another thing I’d like to do – now that I’ve gotten a few halfs and a full under my belt – is to start re-introducing speed work into my weekly runs. I was just focusing on building up mileage, but now that I have PRs, I feel the need to break them. 🙂 This helps me focus in the post-marathon “what do I do NOW?” period; I do have a 10-miler coming up next month, and I signed up for another half in March long ago, so knowing that I have those two to look forward to and train for is a huge help in not feeling all let down after the Big One. I confess that I did take advantage of reduced prices to sign up for the Richmond half-marathon next year, knowing full well in the back of my mind that it’s not impossible for me to decide at the last second that I want to switch into the full. But I’d like to run another full next year, and am happily weighing possibilities: Chicago? Marine Corps? Philadelphia? Somewhere I’ve never heard of?

So, yes, I’m happily filling up my racing calendar for the next year, but I’m also looking forward to just doing some easy, wherever-I-want-to, whenever-I-want-to (though I know I’ll likely gravitate towards my usual Tues/Wed/Thurs/Sat pattern) runs for the rest of the year. The 10-miler will be a fun, relaxed, Santa-theme-costumed run with a friend, and I’m probably going to do a Turkey Trot 5k next week to shake off the rest of the post-marathon recovery rust. But other than that, I’m planning to take it easy and slow, and remain proud of the fact that I can say with a huge idiotic grin on my face: I, too, am a marathoner. (Eeeeee!)

As a treat (ha!), here are two pictures I found of the Richmond Marathon that have me in them. In the first one, I’m the one on the right in the blue shirt and black shorts, and to my left in the hat is Tatiana, my early-race running buddy (hooray!). In the second one, I’m the one all the way on the left, still in the blue shirt and black shorts, about to kick that hill’s ass. These were taken by Jesse Peters at Backlight; if you want an idea of how beautiful the entire day and course were, the full gallery is here: http://backlight.zenfolio.com/p454758483/ Click to enlarge either picture.

Backlight: Marathon 2012 &emdash;

Backlight: Marathon 2012 &emdash;

Happy trails, y’all. 🙂

I did it. I FREAKING DID IT! (Race report: Richmond Marathon)

jumbled thoughts…. I am a Marathoner.

expo: oh wow have bib this is happening. bought some shot bloks (can’t get them in cville anywhere) and a headband that says “will run for beer”. went home, ate, met mom, watched chariots of fire – saint says “this is now a tradition for every night before you run a marathon” – in which i think you think i’m doing this again? and then i laugh to myself and realize, yeah. he’s totally right. get to sleep late, too excited.

crucial thing: no blisters! YEAH!

whoever was playing “where the streets have no name” at mile 21… bless you. I NEEDED THAT SO MUCH. nearly started to cry.

putting my name on my bib was a genius move. having tens of tens of people you don’t know yell your name is so, so, so awesomely helpful.

speaking of awesome, thank you thank you THANK YOU x a million for reading and supporting. still cannot overstate how much it helps.

splits: 10k 1:08:50 half 2:26:26 20mile 3:46:33 guntime 5:08:34 chip time 5:02:36 (pit stop totally makes this a sub-5:00 since i know i spent at least 4 minutes in the portajohn)

miles 1-3: yeah this is FUN! fun fun fun. chilly but fun. so many people but not crowded-  wheee! keep it slow. keep it easy. you get to see people at mile 3.

mile 3: there’s my support group! with signs! hand off the jacket, bid adieu for 10 miles. yeah. still fun. a bit chilly but warming up- it’s sunny and clear. am in shorts, t-shirt, and gloves.

mile 4ish: a lovely person named tatiana sides up next to me and introduces herself. she’s part of the MTT here in richmond, and it’s her first marathon too. bam! instant running buddy. we meet 2 other marathon virgins from virginia beach and for a while, it’s the 4 of us chatting and running together, keeping it nice and slow (mile 3 was too fast because i was excited at seeing my people). downhill we go, down to the river. we lose the VB girls but T and i are still chatting along. i learn she’s had brain surgery and surgery to remove a tumored pituitary gland and i think, damn, girl. but she says ‘this is still harder than any of that’ and i agree. we high-five about 15 kids on our way down, which is awesome.

tatiana helps miles 4-9 go by ridiculously quickly not in terms of pace-  we were moving at a perfectly reasonable and slow clip – but in terms of time passing and us not noticing. we run along the river, one of my favorite parts of the run, and i thank her for randomly finding me and talking to me because on long runs this has been my least favorite part that drags out forever: the single-digit miles when i still feel like i’m warming up.

miles 9-12: we get out of the riverside part and start moving uphill. T has a funny way of moving uphill: cussing at the elevation, ha! whereas i just say
“hill? what hill?” and drag her up with me. the hills really aren’t hills where i’m from, but they are still a pain in the ass. somewhere around mile 11.5 we part ways as i go on ahead, per our mile-6 agreement that either one of us can drop back or go on as needed. how totally awesome was this random stranger? so cool.

mile 13.1: halfway point! my people are waiting at the next party stop, which is soon. i’m keeping a great (for me) pace: 2:25 for the half, and while my left foot is killing me (shoe was too tight), otherwise i feel great. find my people – saint has a sign that reads “halfway to the beer!” – and re-tie my shoe. foot still hurts, but mind over matter, right? see them off, will find them at mile 20.

mile 14: someone i know who ran this last year runs out of the shadows at me to cheer me on! random! how great! oh wow what a pick-me-up. i feel my pace pick up and tell myself “not yet”, the hard part is coming up – the next few miles are slightly uphill and over a long, long bridge.

miles 15-17: this is where it got hard. uphill, less support, though i did high-five an entire company of firemen which made my hand hurt. but it’s a steady uphill and the bridge is long and once you cross it it’s more steady uphill. everything is starting to hurt and i’m lonely and i’m a bit scared of what’s after mile 20. gummy bear carnage! i should have used the porta-potty at mile 13. or 15.

mile 18: where i’ve been taking one gel at 3-mile intervals, here i take 2. it HURTS. this sucks. i want to die, but i have people soon. just get to mile 19.

mile 19: AUGH I WANT TO BE SHOT. just get to mile 20. why is my throat closing up? start to panic – why can’t i breathe? am i going to pass out? get some water, it goes away. but WTF, that’s NEVER happened to me before. huh.

mile 20: MY PEOPLE. more signs! saint is the best. my people split and i was supposed to see half of them a ways back but i was too fast (?!) and i missed them. my 20-mile split is fast for me: 3:45. i’m doing great timewise, but i feel awful. but my people are here! see you at the finish line.

mile 20.00001: uncharted territory: this is now farther than i’ve ever run. can i even DO this? i hurt so much. feel like i’m barely moving, but walking (at water stops) only exacerbates it, so i shuffle along.

mile 21: must use toilet. snagged own paper before leaving house, which was crucial- there was none left in the portajohn! it is HOT outside (65 degrees) and clear. get moving again- it hurts.

whoever was playing U2 here, i love you.

mile 22: yes, we are now playing the “just get to the next mile” game. i have an odd cramp in my left side; i realize i’m running hunched over and this is bad form so i force myself to stand tall and straighten up. get some water, cramp goes away. throat tightens up again! wtf? breathe through it, don’t panic. remind myself: this area is flat, so you’re in no hill trouble. keep moving.

mile 23: some clever souls have staged this part as the beginning of a 5k fun run. HA! i love it! awesome pick-me-up with high-fives and music and a fake start line and everything. and then i think: huh, yeah, 3 miles to go. we can do this. more gummy bear carnage! ack, my shoes are sticky. wet washcloth station = christmas, that feels so good. genius move, race organizers.

mile 24: last gel. EVERYTHING HURTS JESUS CHRIST I WANT TO BE DONE. water. gotta keep moving. bit of a hill, but nothing major. turn onto a street i know well and know how to run. everything hurts but you know what? i’m so close. i’m going to do this. i’m getting there. just a matter of mind over body. how am i moving faster? i don’t know, but i can feel a strong finish coming on. come on, people walking, pick it up and run with me.

mile 25: holy shit, the end is near. one more mile. just one more mile! we’re in the shade of buildings and it’s dark and even chilly and i want to get back out into the sun. omg one last turn and we’re on the street we finish on. down down downhill. and there’s my friend from mile 14 on his bike he followed me to  meet me aaaahhhh! so cool! two bridges to go over- go over the first one and i see in the distance the sign that says 26. start laughing like a fool and thinking I AM ABOUT TO DO THIS. start thinking i might cry- this is insane! there’s the mile 26 sign! i am moving so fast and i feel – jesus i’ve got the most idiotic grin on my face. wait wait there are my people! on the left by the fence and i am so happy! i hear them cheering after me and off down the last hill i go and oh god why is my throat closing up again and really i can’t breathe omg i’m going to pass out and FALL across the finish line wait no no keep your head up and i am all alone at the finish and my head is up and i am running hard and strong and i feel SO GOOD and i am smiling like an ass and laughing because THERE I HAVE CROSSED and i am a marathoner.

whaaaaat.

if i had tears i’d cry them but i don’t think my body could make them. get some water along the chute and really, why, why am i so close to hyperventilating? get my breathing under control – that was all odd. get my medal. start giggling furiously. gotta keep moving. get a banana and bagel, gone in five bites. find my people! saint has chocolate. scarfed. gotta keep moving. my mile-14 friend stops by and we hug. hugs all around. my people and i disperse and saint and my mom and i walk around and i get my picture taken on the big podium and i get my free beer (blue moon never tasted so good) and we walk back to the car and stretch and keep moving.  go get muffaleta i said i knew i wanted. get home, scarfed. museum. walk around, see another finisher wearing her medal, congratulate her (i wore mine all day too, except in the shower :)). dinner, boisterous company, beer, wine, TV, icy-hot, CRASH.

sleep.

today i feel great. hips a bit sore, calves a bit sore, but could i run another one of these next year? HELLS YEAH. just gotta figure out which one. i mean, i have a PR now to beat, right?

i did it. i freaking did it. 😀

Here we go!

T-minus less than 2 hours. I fell asleep sometime after 1:00am, dreamed weird dreams, woke up to move when my hips started hurting, and fairly leaped out of bed when the alarm went off at 5:30am.

So… yeah. The marathon is here.

It’s still a little early for me to be in a thinking person’s headspace, but my mind is pretty blank right now, which surprises me, sort of. I thought I’d be thinking about everything that led up to this point: the then-insane impulse to sign up for this thing a year ago; the eventual training for my first half that sort of led into this; the fear of having injured myself before training even started; and, once training did start, all of the work – the 5am runs in 100% pre-dawn humidity in July and August, when it was just me and the stars and a few honking cars; the clothes-soaking long runs in August; the infamous 12-mile bonk run; the two halves I did in September and October; the early mornings darkening and forcing me to run later in the day; the heat, the hot, the ugh of sweating through another 8-mile pace run; getting to run a new ‘longest distance ever’ every other weekend; the hangover runs; the digestive-issues runs; what a BIG DEAL the 18-miler seemed like until I got tot the 20-miler; the crappy short runs I had that made me want to quit; the 20-miler in New York City that nearly broke my heart while totally uplifting it; running with blood all over my leg trying to will away the pain and the desire to catch a bus home; suddenly having to deal with chilly weather; getting to sleep in a little later because the long runs got less long, getting antsy during the taper, starting to think that this is actually happening

But I’m not thinking of that, no, because writing it out was a little confusing because it all seems like a blur now. It’s me and the roads ahead of me, and that’s it.

The journey of 26.2 miles begins with a single step. In about 90 minutes, I finally get to take that step.

Awesome.

Well shit. (T-minus 23 hours and counting.)

That’s a good “well, shit”, mind you, because now that I’ve finished my 2-mile blowout run, my training is officially over.

I am Ready.

I mean, I’ve been ready for two weeks now, but now I know for sure deep down that I really AM ready, because setting that treadmill at a pace a good minute faster than my race pace – and increasing it as I went – felt good. Light, springy, and yes, tough by the end, but damn did it feel good. Now that I’ve woken my legs up they’re all “oh hey, can we keep going?” and I have to tell them “No, wait one more day please”, and then it hits me that the temporal span I just said is ONE DAY, and I realize that this thing is happening tomorrow, tomorrow, and that in 24 hours I will be somewhere on Grove Avenue – a road I’ve run many times in training, and not – soaking up the sun and the atmosphere with so much still ahead of me.

EEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeohgod.

The rest of my day will involve a shower, maybe more coffee, teaching my class, packing, preparing lunches for next week so I don’t have to do it when I get home on Sunday, and getting myself over to RVA so I can get my packet and maybe drive the parts of the course I’ve not run so I can at least see what they feel like. There will be dinner, possibly beer, and my mom gets into town later so I’ll go see her (eeee!) and get myself to bed early, provided I can even manage to sleep – I was already getting the “omgwtfbbq” insomnia last night, so it’s good that I’ve been getting good sleep through the earlier parts of this week because AHHHH. I AM SO EXCITED IT TOOK ME THREE TRIES TO SPELL EXCITED CORRECTLY.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeohgod! 🙂

What, does my ass read the Internet or something? Also: 48 HOURS. WTF.

Okay, so hand to God, not twelve hours after my last post outlining in excruciating detail my medicine issues of the past week, everything I’d written about as being wrong (which I will not recap here, but you’re free to scroll down and read for yourself but maybe not if you’re eating anything right at this minute) suddenly went POOF. Vanished. Gone. Solved! What the hell? It’s like my rear end is suddenly part of some vast customer service conspiracy: Nothing positive gets done until you complain about it on the Internet.

So, yeah, I’m glad I held off on writing to my doctor, because (knock wood) I seem to be back to normal in the digestive area of things. This is good news, because OH HEY I have a marathon coming up in OH CRAP less than 48 hours. WHAT THE FUHHHHhhhhh.

I have to give a million thanks to my running/blogging pal Alyssa over at NJ Runner Girl (http://www.njrunnergirl.com/) for her shout-out to me – while you’re over at her page, show her home state some love (as your way of thanking her too for her support) and make a donation or two or four to some of the relief efforts still going on. There’s still a lot of work to be done there, and no donation is too small! (Might I suggest the texting donations through the Red Cross and the American Humane Society? Text REDCROSS to 90999 and HUMANE to 80888 to make a $10 donation, as many times as you want)

But, um. Yeah. I’m on day two of my two consecutive rest days this week, and today I’m starting to get that when-can-I-run-again? twitch. I can run again tomorrow morning, when I will do a two-mile blowout run, and then after that it’s time to wait. There are a ton of cliches about this period in a marathoner’s journey to the race: The hay is in the barn, the gas is in the tank, the beer is in the keg – wait, hang on… Point being, I’m ready for this, and have been really for about two weeks, but now I’m in that weird headspace where all I can do is just count down the hours until the gun goes off. AAAAHHHHHhhhhh. I expect things will get exponentially worse tomorrow evening when I pick up my race packet and have a bib with a number and my name on it and the words Richmond Marathon and suddenly it’s t-minus 12 hours and HOLY CRAP I’m getting tingly just thinking about it.

Okay. Enough taper craziness for today – no, for now. I can’t guarantee this won’t keep happening for the next, um, 47 hours and 22 minutes… not that I’m keeping track, ’cause I’m not.

AAAHHHHH! 🙂