The Home Stretch

Only a few days until the Bayshore Marathon. Wow. Time has been flying for me, and while I’d love another six weeks or so to train, I’m also very anxious to just run the race already.

Am I ready for the marathon? Hell, no. I missed too much training, and unfortunately many of the training runs I missed were some of the most important to me (long runs and tough tempo runs). But I think I’ll get through it OK. I’ve been struggling lately with shooting for a finishing time goal vs. just running it for fun. I really want to enjoy the whole experience and not miss too many of the nuances along the way, like spectator signs, nice waterfront homes, etc. But a part of me wants to compete with myself to run the best I can. I want to enjoy the race, but I also don’t want to feel after the race like I could have run 30 seconds per mile faster. As I’ve discovered over and over again the last few months, marathon training is every bit as much of a mental challenge as it is a physical challenge (at least for me)! I just have a couple of short, easy training runs left and then it’s time to put the training to the test, for better or worse.

I headed out to Stony Creek Metropark Sunday morning to do my training run and cheer on the runners in the Back to the Beach races at Stony Creek. I had a blast cheering for the runners, and I realized that I should spectate at races more often because I really enjoy and appreciate the crowd support when I’m running. It was fun to return the favor for a change. I was happy to see several friends before the race, and it was the first race for at least a couple of them. A huge congrats to them and everyone else who ran their first race!

I also saw Jeff from Detroit Runner before the race — he was running the half marathon. He had just run a full marathon in sweltering heat a couple weeks before, and he got stuck with another pretty hot day for Back to the Beach. It wasn’t too bad at the start, but there were no clouds and it warmed up in a hurry during the race. He did a great job though, especially running a challenging course on sore legs.

It was great meeting Lindsay from Run Knake after the half marathon. She ran the Chicago Marathon last fall, but this was her first half marathon. This was the first time we met in person, though we’ve known each other through Twitter for a while. She ran really well and beat her goal time by several minutes despite having to cut back on her training. It was great chatting with Lindsay and Jeff, and they gave me some excellent marathon advice that will come in handy on Saturday.

I’m not going to be able to do anything to get my legs more ready for Bayshore, so other than my two remaining easy runs, I’ll spend the remainder of my training trying to prepare myself for the unknown. I’m looking forward to it!

Did you race this weekend? If so, how did it go?

Any upcoming races? If so, at what distance(s)?

Do you follow a strict pre-race routine; does it vary depending on the distance, location, start time, etc.; or do you not have a specific pre-race routine?

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6 Responses to The Home Stretch

  1. Hey, I know what you mean about races coming up on you and wanting another 6 weeks to train. I raced in the SHM 1/2 marathon on Sunday and the weeks coming up to it wasn’t the best, with sickness and old injuries giving me grief I was worried I would be running, so my goal actually was just to make it… didn’t do a pb, but I enjoyed it all the same, and got to see alot of my amazing friends, and the atmosphere was fantastical with everyone cheering on the sides… ended up doing 1.26 and came 2nd in my ag, so that was a bonus. I actually don’t follow a strict diet but a lot of my friends do, esp the really skinny ones, but I don’t… yet have been told I eat too much sugar whoops… Anyway good luck with it all… hope you do a PB! Auds :-)

    • Matt says:

      Thanks, Auds – I appreciate it! This one will be especially interesting because it’ll be my first time running a full marathon, so I already don’t quite know what to expect from that distance.

      I’m sorry you had to deal with sickness and old injuries before the SMH Half, but 1:26 is an awesome time. Congratulations on your time and finishing 2nd in your AG, even if it wasn’t a PR! It’s great that you had an excellent race atmosphere…it’s always a bonus when you can really enjoy the race and run an excellent time.

      I don’t follow a strict diet either, but I’ll be better about that over the next few months. Good luck in your upcoming training and competitions!

  2. Erika says:

    You are going to do great!! You are more than prepared and yes, remember to try and have fun while you are at it! Can’t wait to hear how it goes for you and Megan too!

    • Matt says:

      Thanks, Erika! I feel very underprepared, but we’ll see how it goes on Saturday. I’ll definitely make sure to enjoy it, though it’ll be much more enjoyable if my hip flexor stays fairly pain free and I have something left in the tank over the last 10K. :)

  3. Josh says:

    I’m sure you’ll do a great job at the race – you’re fast and well trained! You have put in the work and it will pay off.

    • Matt says:

      Thanks, Josh! I just hope I don’t hit “the wall” toward the end of the race. Or if I do, I can find a way to finish with decent splits. We’ll see though…facing the unknown is part of what I love about running!

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