26.2 Days Til The 26.2 Race

Last night the BAA emailed all runners registered for the 115th Boston Marathon. Arriving in my inbox with a time-stamp of 7:49 p.m., the email declared that we were, at that moment, exactly 26.2 days away from The Big Day. While I’ve been counting down the days, I never thought to do that division–very very cool 🙂  (Duly noted that I shouldn’t be allowed to do that division, as math is…how shall I say it…not my forté.)

The email also announced that all runner bib numbers have been assigned; you can search for any registered runner’s number here.  My number is fantastically memorable with a wildly long string of super-lucky 7s: I am runner number 24777.

I am tickled pink about this. I am driving my family crazy. They would love it if I would stop yammering on about the brilliance of 24777. Sorry guys, I’ve tried. I appear to be incapable of stopping. I just love my number! 🙂

When I met with my coach after last weekend’s New Bedford Half Marathon, I asked him what The Plan was from here on out. Specifically, I wanted to know what I was supposed to do on this weekend’s 21-miler on the Marathon course with my Children’s Hospital teammates, the longest run of my entire 16-week marathon training plan. I braced for some specific and challenging directive. At New Bedford, he had assigned me to hold an 8:30 pace for the whole 13.1 mile race. At Salem’s Black Cat, I was to run as many super-fast miles as I could and switch to LSD only when exhaustion set in. At the BP-16, I was ordered to negative split. So there was some serious precedent here and I was eager to know what gauntlet he’d throw down for the 21-miler.

Much to my surprise, he gave no gauntlet to run. Quite the opposite occurred: instead of giving me some super-tough assignment, he gave me permission to bail. “Your work is pretty much done,” he said, showing me various signs of this work and its doneness on charts he generates from my Garmin data. “Your main job now is to stay healthy and uninjured. Have fun with your team. Enjoy the course. If you feel the least bit negative at any point, stop running and go home.” 

He went on to say that I am now physically capable of running a qualifying time at Boston—of qualifying for Boston at Boston. Whether or not I will is dependent on the weather, on my mood, on whether my heart breaks on Heartbreak Hill. It’s dependent on my heel and on my neck—on too many things to enumerate.  The question isn’t whether I am capable of achieving my goal but whether I will on a certain day in April on a certain stretch of asphalt connecting Hopkinton and Boston.

To further stress his point, my coach told me about another athlete he coaches,  Olympian Jarrod Shoemaker. (Yes, I know it is crazy that I share a coach with an Olympian. Pure wackiness.) He has been working with Jarrod to get him to the point where he can run a sub-14-minute 5k (wow!). He showed me pretty charts and graphs of Jarrod’s workouts that apparently scientifically prove this awesome athlete is fully capable of the sub-14-minute feat (in case you’re wondering, the male 5K world record is 12:37:35).

“Jarrod is capable of a a sub-14 minute 5K. You are capable of a sub-four hour marathon. Will he do it? Will you do it? There’s only one way to find out.”

Well said. 🙂

Bye for now, folks. Chase those negative thoughts away–just don’t injure yourself in the process!

– #24777 (aka Christine)

About garmin_girl

I'm a 40-something single mother of three--two great human girls and one four-legged Dalmatian banshee--who is hellbent on swimming, biking and running straight through my midlife crisis. Care to tag along? Crazy loves company! ;)
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5 Responses to 26.2 Days Til The 26.2 Race

  1. See you Saturday!!!

    -21779 (AKA C-squared)

  2. gswoodward says:

    I pretty much agree with the coach – what is done is done. The hay is in the barn as far as the real training go, now we are just trying to stay sharp and not get hurt.
    I’d use Saturday’s long run to practice all those race day things. What to wear, what time to get up, what to eat and drink and when, how to drink on course and etc. The Course will be fun on Saturday – I guarantee there will hundreds (thousands) of runners out. I’m doing the very same run as you – without the bus or the team support and am looking forward to it.
    Be confident going into the race. When I ran my first Marathon I absolutely believed that I could run a BQ. That is the way to start. Then it is just; have a plan – executing it perfectly and beat the mental demons.
    Good luck and see you Saturday.

    Oh P.S. 12087

  3. Hey 12087 🙂

    It will be a blast to finally meet! 🙂 Yep practice is what I am planning on. I got a new waist pack to hold my new fuel of choice (Jelly Belly sports beans–fuel has been tricky for me. GU is a disaster. Clif Blocks are too big. Perpetuem works but is so flaky I can lose more than I take in–plus they are so darn big that I can’t imagine carrying enough for 26.2. I used the jelly beans for the first time in New Bedford and they worked well, so Saturday I’ll try to eat “enough” (whatever that is–I’ll try to figure that out too!). My Children’s shirt chafes (wore it at the Black Cat) so I’m experimenting with Body Glide. One toe on my left foot got a little beaten up in New Bedford, so I’ll experiment on how to protect it lest I end up with a black toenail like yours in Chicago circa 2009 😉

    Look for me amidst the sea of day-glo blue & orange checkered Children’s jerseys on Saturday–my hunch is I’ll be easier to spot than you, 12087! 🙂

    Cheers and perfect execution thoughts your way! 🙂

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