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Just Like That

When I signed up for the San Francisco Marathon back in October, July 26th 2009 seemed so far away!!! Now I am only three short runs away from running my first full marathon. This process has been very educational not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally. After I cross the finish line next Sunday, I will have over 875 miles of running for the year. That is equivalent to running from Denver to Tucson, Arizona!!

After trying to schedule long runs for so many Sunday mornings, it seemed odd this week to only have 8 miles. I am a big believer in visualizing success beforehand, so with each run I keep re-enacting what I think it will feel like to run the race and cross the finish line. I have come up with different aspects to focus on for different parts of the race. This is my plan so far:

Miles 1-6: Have fun, enjoy the crowd, excitement, and adrenaline
Miles 7-11: Focus on finding a comfortable pace and stride
Miles 12-16: Focus on consistency in fueling and pacing, zone out
Miles 17-21: Focus on form - arms down, elbows in
Miles 22-26.2: Run with passion, think about the journey leading up to this moment

During the past two weeks, I have definitely experienced taper madness. Most people say it is caused by the cut back in mileage, but that is not the case for me. What worries me the most is just minor aches and pains that I have been having. They say that during your taper, you can't enhance anything you have done for your marathon, but you can undo what you have done. So basically, don't do anything stupid the weeks leading up to the race!

Runner's World has an awesome article about what to do during the last three weeks. I am really going to try hard to eat well and drink lots of water this week. I am also trying to add an extra half hour of sleep each night.

The great thing about this race is that I get to look forward to a vacation after it is done. We will be spending two nights in Napa and then back to San Francisco for some more sightseeing once the legs have recovered. So worse comes to worse, I can always distract myself at the end with thoughts of wine, cheese and chocolate! :)

I hope I can post one more time before we leave on Thursday. If not, I will have a full race report when we get back!


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