[Editor’s Note: Mint wrote this a week ago, and she’s running her marathon as you read this. Go, Mint, go!]
It’s true. I am checking weather forecasts, race time predictors and pace charts. I am thinking about my racing shoes and my race day wardrobe. I’ve ordered some gels and have restocked my Bodyglide supply. It’s almost race time, baby. And I can’t wait.
This is a very newfound feeling, which hit me like a load of bricks today. And I couldn’t be happier.
You see, in the fall of 2012, I set a big fat PR at the Chicago Marathon. I’d been working for years to break 3:25 and I finally did it! I took the spring of 2013 off just to relish in my victory rather than ramp back up to a new crazy goal. But then I got hurt.
It was a long road back. I won’t tell you I’m not still sore sometimes, but this winter I decided I was going to go for it anyway. The plan was to run the Wisconsin Marathon this spring. Time wasn’t a big issue because I knew I was really out of peak marathon shape and it would be a long road. I wanted to get back to marathon training, though. The plan is to get back into shape and shoot for the moon in the fall.
As it has been for many of you, training has been hard this winter. Really hard. The weather was nothing short of cruel. I was also traveling a lot and very busy with work. This is the shortest marathon training season I’ve ever completed and the lowest mileage (with the exception of my very first marathon). It’s been hard to hit my workouts and I’ve struggled. But I’ve put the time in. The hay is in the barn. The barn may not be overflowing with hay, folks, but it is in there. I don’t have anything near a PR in me, but I do have 26.2 in me. I even think I have a Boston Qualifying time in me.
Last weekend I ran a half marathon at goal race pace and it was so awesome to be out there. To run into friends, cheer each other on and push through pain. I came home and there was a flood of emails between Salties regarding their races. The excitement – and even some disappointment – was palpable. Then Monday, I watched the Boston Marathon. How amazing was that? #BostonProud and #BostonStrong just are not sufficient. Watching Shalane Flanagan set a blistering pace like a total bad ass was so inspiring. It led to a great performance (and PR) for her and for two other women to break the course record. And of course Meb’s performance, finish line celebration and tears were all poignant, moving, and amazing. Man, I wish I had been there. [Side note: It was also a nice little reminder that if Meb can PR and become the first men’s USA winner of the Boston Marathon in 31 years at the ripe age of 38, I can’t make excuses for myself as a 40 year old.]
This morning I went out for my pace run and while it wasn’t easy, I felt like a million bucks when I finished. I cannot wait to toe the line in Kenosha on May 3.
It’s racing season, Salties! Has the Spring racing bug hit you yet? What are your upcoming races? Share them here so we can share your race-day build-up, too!