We are all settled into our hotel rooms in Provo, Utah. Rooms are organized. My stuff is set out for the morning and the 1:30am wake up call (ick). The kids are settled. We had a great dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory (yay for gluten free menu!) after going to the expo and doing a little bit of mandatory shopping. I am hoping to lay down for the night here in the very near future.
Observation number one - There is a lot more work and a lot less rest the days before a race when you are taking the whole family with you. Whew. Josh has been a great help though and I got us all packed up yesterday, and we were out the door at about 9:30 this morning, headed to Utah.
We stopped and had lunch at Wendy's (I ate a banana and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on gluten free bread from the cooler!) and within a couple of minutes of getting there I was recognized by a family from the Runner's World article. I think having all 12 kids with me might have tipped them off. :) I got noticed by two people at the expo as well. Crazy.
Somehow, race day is tomorrow! The days and weeks have just flown by the last couple of months. I am feeling really good physically and emotionally. I found myself getting nervous and anxious at the beginning of the week - fueled by how very badly I want to have a really, really good race. When I noticed myself feeling nervous and anxious, I thought and prayed and here are the things I realized.
- I have more than put the work in. I looked back at my training log and I have not missed a day of running since before Goofy. No excuses. I did not miss a mile from my training plan, and I did not miss a workout. There were days I didn't feel as great as others, but I hit every pace in every key workout. Track workouts, tempo runs, long runs, goal marathon pace runs - I did them all and did them well. I also was committed to my strength and core training and never skipped those. I ran several 80-90 miles weeks. I have more than put the work in.
- I am healthy! Along with making my strength and core training a priority, I made recovery after every run a priority as well. I always drink a recovery drink, stretch and do a flexibility routine, and roll with a "stick" or foam roller. I did ice baths after all of my long runs, and wore compression gear. I have taken care of my body and in return, I have been blessed to be free from injury through A LOT of miles and a lot of hard training. I have put a lot of focus on my nutrition, and after lots of tests and doctor appointments have gone gluten-free in an attempt to fix my continual stomach issues. (Things have been somewhat improved after three weeks of gluten free eating). I have gotten as much sleep and rest as a mom of 12 who has to get up super early can. I have stayed well-hydrated. I am healthy and in as good of shape as I have ever been.
- I have tapered just right. For me, a two-week taper seems perfect. I don't feel flat and stale but I do feel well-rested and recharged. I feel ready to race!!
- I love marathons and I love to run. I reminded myself that I love this! Yes, I want to do well, but I run because it is something I truly enjoy. I run marathons because it is "my distance". It is what I train for and what I do, because I love it.
Some people would say that it is "just" a race. And I get that. It IS just a race. In the grand scheme of life and eternity it is not a big deal and there are plenty of other races to come. But at the same time, this is something that is important to me. It is something that I care about, and something I have put a lot of time, effort, work, thought, energy, heart and soul in to. It matters to me.
So let's talk goals. My A goal for Utah Valley Marathon is to be under 3:15. The goal marathon pace I have trained at is 7:15, which would be a 3:10, but since I have yet to run a marathon without needing at least two quick pitstops because of stomach issues (and sometimes more than that) and usually "lose" 3-6 minutes because of that, I add on five minutes.
My B goal is to PR. My current marathon PR is 3:27, set in Disney in January on day two of the Disney challenge (so the day after setting a PR in the half marathon). I should be able to PR even with a rough day.The temps look like they should be nice, although people are worried it could be fairly windy. Even if it is super windy or my stomach is bad or both, I should still be able to PR.
That's it! I don't have a C goal.
I am feeling pretty confident. I am feeling like tomorrow is my day, and Utah Valley is going to be my race. You never know what race day will bring, and when it gets challenging I am not going to panic,. I am going to remind myself that I have trained for this. I am ready for this. I CAN do this. I love this. I am going to remember that it's not supposed to be easy and it's supposed to hurt, but I am stronger than the hurt. I am going to trust in my training and believe in myself. I am going to draw strength from Josh, Jennifer, the kids, my parents, Jenny, and many other friends and family members who have given me love and support and believe in me.
Josh has given me SO much support and encouragement this week. His love and faith in me mean everything. I will be holding on to several of the things that he said and carrying them with me tomorrow.
I am ready. I am excited!!!
It's going to be fun. It's going to be tough. It's going to be great.
There is not any runner tracking for this race. I will have my phone at the finish line once I find Josh and the kids, so I will post results to Twitter, Facebook and to here as soon as possible. THANK YOU to everyone who has sent emails, texts, comments, etc. of support and encouragement. I appreciate every single one. More soon!!