OK, so we are now down to exactly 1 week until race day. The training is done, there's nothing I can do about changing that at this point. The outfit is planned, the marathon music mix is completed, the hotel is confirmed, the babysitters (grandma and grandpa) are booked. Now it's just sit back and enjoy the week.
Any runner knows that that last sentence is a complete lie. Anyone who has trained for a big race in their lifetime will tell you that the last week before the race is possibly the worst week of training. It's an absolute terror of a week. There is honestly nothing good about this coming week. The anticipation is mind numbing, the lack of running makes me feel fat and out of shape. Doesn't that sound so weird? People train for months to run 26.2 miles in one day, usually logging somewhere around 70-90 miles per week of training, and in one week of limited activity to prepare for this one day it makes people feel like they are completely out of shape.
So here's what 1 week left until race week means for me:
1) I'll be a wreck this week. As I said earlier, the lack of full training absolutely kills me. My wife hates days that I don't workout because she says I become a grinch, so imagine what a week of easy training will do to me? I need to workout for my sanity and I go crazy if I cant workout. Normally I work out twice a day. Going to the gym in the morning and then out for a run in the afternoon. Now, basically I just go to the gym and that's my week. Its just a lot of time now for me to do nothing.
2) Because this is the final taper, here is what my race week training will look like
Monday: 7 miles, race pace.
Tuesday- swim. Come April 16th, Triathlon season starts so I need to start swimming and this is the worst of the 3 disciplines for me. Plus, I cant go a week with such light training, and since swimming is low impact I don't think it will hurt my body for the race
Wednesday 4 miles
Thursday- off or swim
Friday- 5 miles
Sunday- off, but walking around Boston with the wife and to the expo.
I don't like the shake-out run the day or 2 before races. A lot of people do them and they do serve a purpose but I've always wanted my legs to be fully rested on race day and a shake-out run still uses the muscles so I don't like them.
3) Second guessing will occur on the hour at the hour. For all the months of training, now is the time to analyze what I actually did, and what I could have done differently. I don't go into the detail so much as look at every run I've done over the past few months because I do that after each race though. But this week I'll sit and think should I have done more speed work, more hill training, more long runs or anything else? How would I have changed each workout? I don't think I could have anticipated anything over the past few months though. No one would have predicted what kind of baby Riley would have been, how much sleep he'll get, how much time he would give me to train, how the wife would have handled having a baby, or anything like that. For the record, everything I just mentioned went great. Riley is the easiest baby in the world, sleeps 10 hours straight now, the wife has been great with him and Ive had the time I need to train so that hasn't been an issue. So all of that has been easy. But no one could have prepared me for being a father and training every day. I wrote a while ago about the mental side of my runs and how I would constantly be thinking about Riley during those runs and I'm sure that played a factor in my runs. So since this week I cant improve on anything for race day, I'm left thinking about what I should have done.
So basically, I'll be thinking about the shoulda, woulda, coulda this week.
4) A lot of people only worry about themselves during their races. I go the complete opposite direction. I worry about everyone else. I hate people coming to watch me race. It drives me crazy. I appreciate all the support people give me, but with people coming to watch me its just another added annoyance. Plus, no one is actually on the course with you and you only get to see them for like 2 seconds, if at all, in a full race. I have to worry about what we're going to do the day before the race, where we are going to eat dinner (I have to make sure there is something other people want to eat), I have to worry where I'm going to meet people after the race. There are just so many variables that outweigh the support. Since Boston is a point to point course that is so highly packed, I'm not going to actually see any friends or family on race day on the course, so why would they even come? I know that sounds bad, but its true.
My friend Leo thinks I don't like people coming to support me because he thinks it adds pressure to me, but I don't think like that. There is no added pressure to me whether people are there or not. I run my race regardless of if no one is there or if 100 people are there for me. I don't have built in excuses if no one comes, or a pressure to perform if they do. Supporters are just there for before or after the race. Thats it
The wife is coming to Boston with me because it will be a mini vacation for her. Riley will be with the grandparents, so she can get to go away and spend a night in a hotel and sleep a full night and relax with no baby. I understand her want to come. It actually has nothing to do with me so I'm ok with that. But she'll be there and I'm happy its just her this time.
That's pretty much my week in a nutshell. I'll be posting every day this week with different things covering Boston so stay tuned. It'll be a week filled with Boston goodies.