The final long run (10 miles) has been completed, the double Tuesday workouts done, and everything I have worked hard for is now 7 days away. One week from today I will be taking on my 11th marathon overall and 6th California International Marathon (CIM). I have so many feelings about this marathon that will be ran in my home town, feelings or excitement, joy and a little bit of nerves. Like all marathons, there comes a lot of confidence knowing that the work an miles have been put in, but also comes some feelings of hope that everything lines up for me that day. Things that I can control that morning and in this final week are keeping my workouts limited without extreme tapering, getting good blocks of rest, eating properly, hydrating and staying relaxed yet focused. While those things may be simple to control the elements that present themselves may not be so easy. Obviously, I hope for temperatures in the high 40s at gun time, a wind to my back, roads not to be icy and rain to be absent. Unfortunately, the 10 forecast shows for rain on Sunday December 2. Lets hope this is incorrect as rain can take away certain abilities such a proper footing making shoes slip etc. However worrying too much outside of what I can control will limit proper preparation in these last final 7 days. The only thing I can worry about if it rains is to have proper gear before, during and after the race.
Yesterday morning the Buffalo Chips Running Club gathered at one of our more frequent long run spots at Starbucks in Gold River, Ca. The plan was to get in 10 miles along the parkway as we ran upstream towards Hazel. The group was a little larger than normal which was nice to see as many of us are preparing for CIM. Hitting the pavement at an easy pace while chatting about our upcoming race made it for some quick time on the trails. During this run we went out easy for 5 then mixed in 2 of our individual goal marathon pace miles before rejoining to close of another easy 3 at the end. For me I felt comfortable but ran a tad bit faster on my 2 miles at goal marathon pace with times of 6:46 and 6:40. With a final .2 miles left of our group run, we decided to name of a couple of the bars at the end of the CIM course to practice our final surge to cross the finish as we head towards the West steps of the Capitol.
After our final surge to end the run for the day the group continued with a post run social at Starbucks. What is a run without a coffee with some friends? For many of us it allowed us to chat strategy and pull out our phones to look up weather forecast. With a final great job to one another, we made our way to our cars knowing that many of us will see one another on the CHIPS team bus Sunday morning at 5:00 am as we journey to the CIM start together.
This coming week will be fairly short and light in regards to running, cross training and working out. On the running plan has my Tuesday interval workout (6 x 400) and Thursdays tempo (5k at Marathon Pace). In between those workouts will be my indoor trainer work but at much shorter durations and a few days of light strength workouts to keep me lose and relaxed. Along with the workouts my weekly acupuncture appointment will allow me for some mental and physical relaxation. This week I will also get a visit in with Trainer Dave who will provide me with a final stretch and workout any lingering issues I may have before the upcoming CIM.
The final touches have been done and it all comes down to putting the shoes on and getting after the 26.2 miles CIM offers. I know many people keep their goals to themselves but I like to share mine. I believe that if you surround you with people who know your goals then the positive vibes and energy can do nothing but help in the process. So here I go… My goals for CIM are as follow 1) sub 3:00 2) go from marathoner to Boston Qualifier 3) enjoy every moment in the race since I have worked too hard to not enjoy it. Now the goals are unique in their own. The first goal would mean I run a 6:52 per mile pace and the second puts me after 3:00 hours but will get me to Boston by running a 7:02 per mile pace. I would be happy with being sub 3:00 and getting to use the letter BQ when I talk about marathons, but a 3:05 will be enjoyable since my current marathon best going into Sunday is 3:32:08 which was ran at last years CIM.
To everyone running CIM and preparing this for this final week just remember each step, each mile is a unique moment in the marathon. Enjoy each step like you have enjoyed the journey of training. Smile for the cameras and say thank you to the volunteers and spectators. This marathon is yours no matter what the clock reads when you cross the line. The process of training for a marathon has made you new friends and provided you with a challenge that has tested you mentally and physically. So at the end of the 26.2 miles you have not failed not wasted anything you have just been able to enjoy life that much more.