Gearing Up

Next Sunday is the big training run. Those of us who decided to run the actual marathon course, rather than the 13.1 out & back that the class has scheduled are currently working on coordinating rides and water stations. I heard a story today about an experienced local runner who got a PR on a completely unfamiliar course, but he’s a very experienced runner. I can see how an unfamiliar course might be exciting and exhilarating for an experienced runner. For new runners, though, I really think it’s probably a good idea to run the course once before the big one. Mentally, I feel like I need to know what I’m getting into.

Today’s run was a short & sweet 6 miler, with a Magic Mile. Some of the class decided to run the Missoula Mile race today, but I opted to stick to my “no races before the big one” plan. My MM time today was exactly the same as my last one, 9:07. That makes the average of my 3 best & most recent MM times 9:03, which puts me on track for a 5:08 Marathon. I’m not going to make a big fuss about trying to get a sub 5 hour marathon, which is tempting, being so close. But ultimately, my focus really is finishing and feeling good. Maybe I’ll have some other thoughts on that after our long run next Sunday, which will take us about 6 hours and 45 minutes at our training pace.

After today’s run, I met up with friends and classmates who had opted to run the Missoula Mile race while the festivities were still going on. We were able to watch the kids race, which was adorable, and the First Responders race. A collection of local police, fire & even smokejumper personnel ran their own race. Many of them opted to dress in their full gear. The crowd favorite, however, not only dressed in his complete firefighting gear, but ran with his 3 kids. And when I say ran with, I mean he carried them. The oldest was in a pack on his back, dressed in a Spiderman costume, which was awesome. He carried the two smaller kids. He was a bit on the slower side, laden down as he was, but that was a pretty bad-ass run, if you ask me.

This week, I’ll be focusing on getting plenty of sleep, eating well and taking good care of myself leading up to the long run on Sunday. After Sunday we’ll have our pre-race taper. The first Sunday run after the 26 miler is only 3 miles. That will seem really weird at this point, I think. The next two are both 6 milers and then it’s the Missoula Marathon, in just 34 days. I’m feeling good and feeling strong. I’m really looking forward to the race.

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