After all, this is the longest taper I've ever done for a marathon distance and beyond. Typically I like a two week taper, but this one was nearly four weeks.
I get WAY more nervous for a marathon I'm 100% prepared for than this 31 miler I'll be tackling tomorrow. Ironic. I can't say the trail mentality doesn't hurt.
After a little contemplation, I have chalked up feeling cool as a cucumber to a few things.
- I've run this race before (granted the course was different because of the forest fire last year, but harder).
- I trained a lot this summer. Long hilly runs. Long solo road runs. Hot, sweaty runs. And one dang good nearly BQ marathon to get my legs and mind ready for this thing.
- While my taper was longer than ever, there's nothing I could do about it. We went on vacation and I got sick right when I would have liked to be doing my last looong run.
- I feel stronger than last year. My hamstrings aren't acting up as much as they were last year, which is a definite plus on the hills. I'm giving credit to all my weight lifting and crazy circuit work (which often includes lots of jumping - jump squats, burpees, star jumps, etc).
- Trail runners have more fun. I hate to say it because I consider myself both a roadie and a trail lover, but the trail runners just love being out there. With road runners... sometimes it just seems (and looks) painful and the anti-fun. I'm sure I've appeared to others as the anti-fun --> looking at you Vermont City Marathon @ mile 21.
Here's to hoping I'm this happy the entire 50K of the McKenzie River Trail! Oh and some of my crazy friends are doing the 50 miler that starts at 5 am. No thank you!
Last year I finished in 6h 23 min and this year I'm hoping to be done around 5h 30 min. See you on the flip side. Anything fun on your weekend agenda?
P.S. Go, Kath, go!