I’m cooling my heels in a hotel room in the central Washington city of Ellensburg. Tomorrow at 8 am, I run the Yakima River Canyon Marathon, my first post-accident marathon.
I’ve prepared well. Good quality miles along the way, as well as a long run at greater than marathon distance, followed by a three week taper. I’ve taken things easy this week, running just three days, to a max distance of only 4.25 miles. I should have plenty in my tank tomorrow morning.
I am feeling a bit nervous about this though. At the start of all 16 marathons that I’ve previously done, I’ve always been aware that finishing is not guaranteed. Running for around four hours takes a lot out of you, no matter how well prepared you are. And what if I forgot to pack my shoes ?
Beyond the normal level of uncertainty I’d have, I’m feeling I have something to prove this time. I very much want to call myself a marathoner again. This is all sort of silly, because I’ve proven it to myself already, by ramping up so nicely in training. And nerves aside, if I simply focus on enjoying a beautiful run through the canyon tomorrow, I’ll be fine.
I don’t have a particular time goal. I’m planning on taking a 30 second walk break per mile, to keep things fresh. The goal tomorrow is to finish.
Driving here this morning was pretty nice. Driving along I 90, I thought about the running routes along the way. I passed parts of the Best of Bellevue run I did last month with Rod and Sue – we got lost on a golf course along the way, necessitating a scrabble up a steep hill with rocks and water. Then I passed the West side of Tiger Mountain, where I had a great run not too long ago. Going through North Bend, I saw Mount Si looming over us, reminding me that I need to run up this one too. I’m mostly ready for that too, but probably want to do several weeks of hill work beforehand. I’d worried a bit about the snow going over Snoqualmie Pass, but it wasn’t a problem. More distant memories of running up to Melakwa and Pratt Lakes came to mind. I need the snow to melt for those, but will be out there this summer to be sure.
Driving past these memories reminds me again that it’s all supposed to be fun. So, if you think about it tomorrow morning, wish me fun!