THREE DAYS! There are only three days until my marathon! And I’m honestly FREAKING OUT!
*For any new readers out there – I am running Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota on Saturday!
We fly out of Juneau tomorrow (Thursday) and get into Minneapolis around 11pm. Yay for a full day of flying! 🙂 Then we’ll spend the night at a hotel close to the airport, and wake up the next morning to head north! The drive from Minneapolis to Duluth is roughly 2 1/2 hours, depending on traffic.
Once there, I fully intend on taking in the full extent of the expo. I hear Grandma’s does an exceptional job with the expo. It showcases more than 100 booths, making it one of the largest in the nation! Better believe I will be spending more than I should at this thing! 😉
Piper also gets to run her very own race on Friday! (Assuming we get there on time….). Now that she’s 4, she makes the cutoff for running in the “Whipper Snapper Races.” 1/8 of a mile!
In some ways, I wish there was another four weeks of training! Shoot, even four MONTHS! That said, I also realize I need to trust that my training will carry me through to the finish line. I am not running to race. Events I have completed in the past I have let my competitive side come out and I have given it my all and raced hard. However, with this race, I simply want to finish. It is my first full marathon and if I need to walk a mile, then run a mile, I am going to allow myself to do so. My plan is to simply listen to my body, but also push my limits to get that 26.2 DONE.
One of my main concerns is the weather. 98% of my training took place in Alaska. There was 1 week during spring break where I trained in the Arizona heat. And it was tough! Water was definitely my best friend and long-runs that were no problem in 50 degrees were suddenly quite challenging in 80. Add major humidity of summers in Minnesota and it could be interesting!
**At the time of this post the forecast for Saturday in Duluth called for 70 degrees and thunderstorms…
All that said, I am excited for this race. It will be a crazy, wonderful adventure and I wouldn’t trade the training experience for the world.
The majority of my training took place during the winter/ spring months. In Alaska, that meant running in the rain, snow, sleet, and ice. My yak-tracks became my best friend. And the vast majority of my runs ended with me soaked head to toe (so if there are thunderstorms, I’ll be ready)!
Additionally, the town where I live is built into the mountainside. So, the vast majority of my runs also involved hills. My marathon course is totally flat so I’m eager for that change in terrain!
I’ve hit my long runs (some of which included walk/run intervals), built-in some speed work, and gotten good use out of my foam roller.
I have not incorporated as much strength training or stretching as I would have liked. And I didn’t follow my training plan to a T. Life got in the way on more than one occasion.
Training for a marathon is freaking HARD! It is like an additional full-time job. Everything is tied to your training – your diet, whether or not you accept a social invitation (because heaven forbid you go out the night before a long run!), finding childcare during your training cycle, rest and recovery, ensuring your body is hydrated and ready to run extreme distances… It takes commitment and dedication.
Despite the challenges, I have no doubt in my mind that the fulfillment that comes from crossing that finish line after completing those 26.2 miles will be more than worth it.
This has been a personal goal of mine for some time and to finally cross that finish line will be a surreal experience.
As Janae (Hungry Runner Girl) says, “I can do hard things.” On Saturday, I will prove to myself that my body, and more importantly my mind, can indeed do anything. And I am certain that crossing that finish line will change my life forever.
“The person who starts the race is not the same as the person who finishes the race.”
“If found on ground, please drag to finish line.”
>>With love, from Alaska<<
Any tips for a first time marathoner?! Comment below!