With three days until my 26-mile training run (these words are in italics because, well, it stills feels just a little crazy!), I can honestly say that I’ve got “marathon, marathon, marathon” on the brain! No surprise. Last night a rather obvious fact dawned on me as if for the first time: I exclaimed to my wife, “Over the next seven weeks, I am running three full marathons!”
Actually, more than that. This Saturday I have 26 miles (I will definitely extend it an additional 0.2 miles to make it a full marathon). In three weeks time I have 29 miles–as if 26 weren’t enough! Three weeks after that, I do the “real” thing before a live studio audience… er, I mean, a live continuous crowd of supporters on the streets of Folsom, Fair Oaks and Sacramento.
Of course, this was the plan all along. Yet NOW it’s really happening! Ever since I finished my quaint little seven-miler last Saturday, I’ve had this weekend’s run on the brain. My mood has jostled from distracted to anxious, from excited to… distracted yet again.
Mostly I am deeply focused on the nearly five-hour run I’m about to do starting Saturday morning at 6am.
Here are the keys to Saturday’s run:
- Hydration/fueling during—Like last time, I will be using my water bladder and hand-held water bottle, which totals to close to 2 liters of water fortified with Liquid IV electrolyte mix. I will carry at least 6 gels/waffles and plan to take one about every 45 minutes.
- Easy does it: I will be taking all the walking breaks (3 minutes running, 1 minute walking this time). Pace will probably be similar to last time, 11:00+ minute-miles at least in the first 13-18 miles. It’s possible I’ll speed up a bit after that, but it’s secondary to having a nice-and-easy run. Either way, this will be the longest duration I’ve ever run by at least 30-40 minutes! So easy does it!
- Being Ready to Run Solo: I have a few buddies joining me during the first part of the run (Shout out to Dave and Eric!). That will be nice. They will both be departing by about mile 10, and I will do the remainder of the run alone. This is not a problem. I have tons of experience running solo. Yet I have also learned it’s important to stay mentally strong after your buddies leave, especially approaching those middle miles (miles 13-20). I am visualizing myself staying mentally present and in high spirits! Another buddy suggested I listen to music, so I may put together a playlist for the occasion.
- Pre-Run Food: Friday Charr is making me a pasta dinner on Friday afternoon. I might bring a protein bar to eat at a rehearsal in the early evening. On Saturday morning I’ll be eating oatmeal with banana and some protein powder an hour before running.
- Post-run food/hydration: I expect to eat a lot Saturday and Sunday. We already got the Costco pizza ready to go!
Wish me luck!