There’s less than a month to go until the Portland Marathon, and when I am not focusing on the day’s workout or recovery, I am mapping my plan of attack!
Here’s a list of my daily reminders (to myself, because as an introverted runner, I talk to myself a lot…):
- EVERYTHING I do is bringing me closer to optimum health and recovery for performance, or farther away. Think before every decision I make and ask myself: Is this (food or action) building me up or breaking me down?
- RECOVER, RECOVER, RECOVER! Easy days should be run easily! Daily foam rolling and stretching are not optional! SLEEP is a must: 7-9 hours, which really should be 8 or 9+!
- BELIEVE in yourself! I am capable of achieving anything! I will not limit myself with negative thoughts or shoot for anything less than pushing myself to my very best. I will only find out how strong I really am by pushing myself harder than I ever have before!
Here’s a list of things that I need to start practicing this month to prepare for the race:
- My pace! During my tempo workouts I need to be comfortable at a 6:30 pace for the bulk of my miles. If I can’t hone in on this pace and settle in for a 6 or 8 mile tempo run, then I definitely won’t be able to run a marathon at this pace! Luckily, I’ve been familiarizing myself with this pace on several key workouts now. I have one long run left this weekend where I hope to progressively increase my pace and finish the last 8 miles at a 6:25-6:30 pace.
- My race-day morning routine! On the remaining long run I have left this weekend, I hope to wake up, eat, etc. Exactly as I will on the morning of the marathon. I will rehearse my before and during hydration+nutrition plan. I also want to wear exactly what I plan to race in. This weekend will be my dress rehearsal for the big show!
- Visualization! Starting from now until the marathon, I need to begin mentally practicing the course. I believe in the power of visualization. I will imagine how I want to feel on the starting line (confident, strong, injury-free, excited! Probably cold too…)I can see the starting line and I will be just a few feet behind it. When the gun goes off and people start cheering, I will stride off, calmly in a controlled pace, not letting the adrenaline or the leaders pull me out of my planned pace. And so on, mile after mile I will visualize the landmarks I remember from the past two years I have ran the course. I will feel strong, fast, and controlled as I imagine myself ticking off every mile at my anticipated pace. I can imagine rallying for the end of the race and pushing through the pain (which I am ready for). Lastly, I can see the finish line and the clock ticking toward the time I hope to finish in as I run through the finisher’s chute.
- I also need to run down a few more steep hills and get comfortable pounding downhill at the end of a training run. There’s a pretty long, steep downhill around mile 21 or 22 of the Portland marathon, which I remember caused me a lot of pain last year!
About 1 & 1/2 weeks until I begin to taper. My last long run is this Sunday. I’ll keep doing shorter tempos and even track workouts until a week before the marathon. I’ll probably do one hard-ish effort the week of the marathon to keep my legs sharp.
Portland Marathon 2014. Sunday, October 5th at 7a.m. I’ll be as ready as I can.