So it turns out that my mileage last week, which should’ve been the start of the tapering process for this Saturday’s Fort4Fitness marathon, wound up being exactly the same as it was for the previous week: 40.6 miles.
That wasn’t my intention, but hey, it happened. Before my Inner Nervous Nelly gets all wound up about not giving my legs enough of a break, I’m going to summon my Interior Devil’s Advocate to put that and a few other blossoming marathon anxieties in perspective. Then I’m going to dump them all in a big box and shove them in the sinkhole of forgetfulness that seems to be taking up a greater chunk of real estate in my mind.
Here’s how that conversation goes…
NN: I didn’t cut back on mileage! We are doomed!
DA: Look, 40 miles isn’t exactly high mileage for someone who’s ostensibly training for a marathon. Your body’s used to that kind of thing, and you cut out the longer runs (nothing over 10 miles this past week). It should be fine, especially if you take it a little easier these last few days.
NN: Ack! Lap three of this race is an entire half marathon all unto itself!
DA: True. But look at it this way: This race is only four laps instead of 204, like the indoor marathon you ran in February. Besides, that 13.1-mile loop is the most scenic part of the course. One of those laps is bound to feel endless anyway. At least you know in advance which one it’s likely to be.
NN: I never got around to buying a new pair of shoes, and now it’s probably too late – I wouldn’t have time to get used to them!
DA: So get a pair of those sport shoe inserts. They’re pretty comfy and make old shoes feel like new again, or at least that’s been your experience in the past.
NN: I’m getting a blister!
DA: So break out the duct tape. Remember how effective that was during the 90in9 project?
NN: The way I’ve been eating, there’s no way I can waddle 26 miles!
DA: You have been somewhat of a pig lately. But this is no time to go on a diet. Look at it this way: you’ll be carrying plenty of built-in fuel.
NN: We were going to borrow Ben’s GPS watch for the race, but we can’t find the charger!
DA: When was the last time you actually USED a running watch? If you tried to use one now, it would probably drive you crazy anyway.
NN: Do we even have a strategy? Should we run with that fun 10:30 pace group as long as possible, then limp to the finish? Try a run-walk pattern to avoid late-race leg drain? Or just run a slow, steady pace throughout?
DA: At this point, see what feels right on race day. The main thing is, just have fun. This will be the biggest race you’ve ever been in, and the crowd support is supposed to be fantastic. This is not the Olympics. There is nothing at stake. Just try to enjoy yourself for once!