September 29, 2015

Chicago Marathon Training: Taper Time

So I'm running a marathon next weekend.

You may have forgotten this since I haven't talked about it in 4 weeks. Oops. 

The last time I posted a training recap, I had just finished my first 20 miler of the cycle. My knee started twinging at Mile 19 which I wasn't too worried about. When my mom came to visit for Labor Day though, I woke up to do my long run on Sunday and my knee wasn't feeling all. First thing Tuesday morning, I booked myself an emergency PT appointment, and that's where I've been for the last month. 

When The Pilot and I went to Hawaii, I skipped running in favor of hiking and swimming. I didn't feel great about that but my PT did. I had 20 planned for last weekend but only did 12. I hadn't run more than 7 in over 2 weeks and I didn't think spiking up to 20 would be the best idea. My PT agreed. So, while I should have already been tapering, I headed out this Sunday for my second run of the week (4 on Saturday) and ran 20 miles. The Pilot ran alongside me for the first 6 and then biked with me for the rest. Yea, he's pretty great. 

The funny thing is that when I woke up Sunday morning, I was convinced I wasn't going to run...and if I didn't do run, I wasn't going to race...but I did. I dragged my feet. I woke up late, I did some cleaning, folded some clothes...I put this off for as long as I could, and when we finally headed out, it was almost noon. Thankfully, it wasn't hot out. (This is the only thing I like about fall!) It was slow but it wasn't painful. Did I feel like I could run 6.2 more miles after that? No, but racing 26.2 is totally different from running 20. 

I'm nervous about this race. It will be my first marathon in 3 years and I feel like I've been tapering for a month. I'm trained, but not the way I wanted to be. What I'm trying to figure out though is how much that matters. 

All I want to do is go out, have fun and finish the race. I would be devastated if I hit the wall or fell apart and I need to do everything I can in the next two weeks to mentally prepare so that that doesn't happen, so that when I do cross that finish line, I can do it with a smile on my face and finally say that I'm back.

How do you mentally prep for a marathon?
What are your tips for getting through the hardest parts of the race?
Have you run Chicago before? Are you running it this year?

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