Friday, December 4, 2009

Some Quick Pre-CIM Thoughts

Why am I so uptight about this marathon? I think it’s because I’m not feeling the energy bubbling in me the way I did before Berlin in September. There have been a lot of races this year—maybe too many. The aforementioned Berlin was only two and a half months ago and since then I’ve run five cross-country races, a half-marathon PR, a 10K PR and there was another one or two other races in there somewhere. I brought a ton of enthusiasm into all those races; every one of them was great fun. I’m feeling right now a little tapped out.

Maybe it’s just typical pre-marathon nerves. Maybe it’s the fact that this is a marathon and marathons, even if you’ve done the distance or greater many times, are always challenging. Maybe—no, I know this is definitely a part of it—I’m weary of getting PRs. Wait, what I mean is, I’m wearing of needing a PR in order to have a successful race. And I’m rather afraid that this time a PR could be really, really difficult.

I’m fortunate, in a way, in that I came to running late, in my 40s. With increased and better training it only took avoiding injury to accumulate PRs. But the low-hanging fruit has been picked. I knew going into Berlin that even if I didn’t have a great race I could better my PR of 3:18:52. I was obviously much better prepared than when I ran that time 17 months before. Now, it’s different. I believe that sometime in the next year I’ll run a marathon faster than 3:09:54, my time at Berlin, but it’ll take a very strong race to do that on Sunday. It will hurt. It’s not going to happen automatically. I’m not any fitter. Probably, I’m a little more tired. That doesn’t bode well, does it?

And yet. And yet come Race Morning, well, things happen. All those crazy, scared-shitless-happy people gathered in the freezing semi-dark out in Folsom, wondering what the 26.2 have in store for them (and what they have in store for the 26.2). It’s a pretty special place to be. It can fire a guy up.

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