I’m trying my best to not overthink or panic about next week. It’s not like I’ve never run a marathon before. And, like I said in the last post, I’m not aiming for a PB at Boston. I think I’m just worrying because to me Boston is a big deal. It’s a race I’ve always wanted to do as soon as I heard about it.
The fact you need to qualify for it, the fact that it’s in the US, the fact that it’s the equivalent to the London marathon to Americans… So I’m trying not to freak out or overthink things. Though this is inevitably happening of course. I’ve been comparing the elevation chart of the Boston marathon to other runs I’ve done so I can try and envision how tough the hills will be. And I’ve even been looking at other Boston marathoner’s Strava to see how they paced the race. I’ve been obsessively checking the weather forecast as well.
This is not normal for me. I rarely check the weather forecast in normal life let alone before an event. My motto has always been “well, you can’t change it so no point worrying”. However I obviously do need to have some idea so I know what to pack.
In Celsius this is about 16 degrees (on my phone app it’s 18 degrees but I prefer this result…). Now obviously this is great news for general holiday-terms (my mum is rather pleased) but for running…considering the majority of my running has been done during the winter this is going to be a bit of a wake-up. HOWEVER, I much prefer this to cold, windy and wet.
But aside from my over-analysis of everything, I’m feeling OK. I still haven’t decided what time I’m going to aim for though. Maria made a great point that I should aim for the slower time because if I’m not aiming for a PB then why does it matter at all? Best to fully enjoy it. But then my ego gets involved and I wonder how well I could run it on my current fitness without going mad. My dad (AKA my coach ) said to judge in on the day before. He knows I’m too much of a control freak to leave it to the day of course, but he said leave it to the day before when I know for sure what the weather’s going to be like, how I am in terms of getting over jet lag and tiredness and what food I’ve been eating. So that’s the plan.
On to my current running… I had a good parkrun at Netley on Saturday. I am on 97 parkruns! This is really exciting. My friend, Geoff (a fellow set-up crew member), is close to his 250th (!!) so we’re going to see if we can hit our milestones on the same day. The only issue there is that I hoped to do the Bath parkrun when I’m there for my friend’s hen do in May but if I do each parkrun as planned that’ll mean Bath will be my 100th. This is obviously not ideal – who wants to celebrate on their own!? So I’ll have to either miss Bath (which sucks because I do love ‘collecting’ different parkruns) or miss a Netley one, which also sucks because I love parkrun. Hmmmm.
Anyway, parkrun was good. I was four seconds faster than last week. It felt comfortably tough but not eyes out painful.
Photo credit: Chris Stapleford
What did really annoy me though was on the final lap a small lad was in front of me and his dad was ‘cheering’ him on from the side. Except he really wasn’t. He was just yelling at him “come on! Keep going! The race is behind you! Head up!”. Constantly shouting at him. It was firstly quite off-putting as I was quite near to the boy and subsequently his dad, who by this point was now running next to him yelling, and secondly I really felt for the boy. He didn’t look older than 13 and he was trying his best. Out of spite to the dad I decided to put a surge in to overtake the boy as he was annoying me so much (the dad, not the boy). I said to the boy as I passed “you’re doing amazingly, well done” and he sort of sadly said “thanks”. Me overtaking the boy drove the dad further into a shouting saga of “catch the orange!”.
Photo credit: Chris Stapleford
The boy overtook me at the end (good for him) but it left a sour taste in my mouth on finishing. It’s a parkrun, not a race. It’s to be enjoyed. Sure everyone wants a PB from time to time and wants to do their best, but there is a line to be drawn from what is encouraging and what is over-the-top pushy parenting. Rant over.
My time was 22:02 just shy off of breaking 22 minutes, damn!
But I’m still happy with my pacing. Somehow I’ve turned from someone who used to blast it right from the beginning to crash at the end, to someone who holds back at the start and then lets go at the end. I’m happy with that!
On Sunday I had my last long run before the marathon. I did my usual coastal route around Titchfield and Lee-On-Solent for 13.1 miles (can’t not do the .1 and make it into a half marathon). It was ridiculously windy and gusty. Luckily for most of the run it was going across me but as soon as I turned to go along the front it was straight against me. The amount of gurns I probably did during that section was laughable.
Apart from one mile fully against the wind (can you tell where??) the rest felt reasonably comfortable and I was amazed at how quickly the run flew by. Though I do feel tired, mentally and physically. When I finished I just felt a bit overwhelmed with “oh god, that was only half of what I’ve got to do in a week.” But this week will be nice and easy and hopefully I’ll feel lovely and fresh for the big day. Hopefully…
Do you check the weather before events and races?
Have you experience pushy parents before?
How many parkruns have you done? How do you celebrate the milestones?