Air Force Marathon: T minus 2 Days

There is only 2 days and approximately 3 miles between me and my first full marathon.  So I wanted to share with you guys how my week has been going as this day FINALLY comes around.

For those of you that don’t know, in April of 2015 I was supposed to run my first full.  6 weeks from race day I started feeling a niggle in my foot.  That niggle turned into an injury that kept me from running full time until January of this year.  In January I started slowly building a base and getting up to feeling comfortable with the half distance.  Then in May, I started working with my coach Kyle Kranz.  At first, I just wanted someone to help me get through without being injured.  Someone to make sure my plan was right for me and I was being successful.  I have had many highs and lows in this training cycle but I am now within reach of this race….injury free!!!!!!!!  And honestly, having a coach like Kyle got me there.  He worked with me every step of the way, understanding missed runs, bad runs, good runs and changes in my schedule.  Putting strength training in my schedule to make sure I wasn’t neglecting my body.  I don’t require a lot of communication when working with someone but anytime I needed something…he was right there with an answer.  Seriously, if you are looking for someone to work with…I couldn’t recommend him more.

So what kind of thoughts go running around in my head the week of a race I have waited a year and a half for????

  1.  Should I pack yet?  I am a procrastinator!  I am leaving at 10 am tomorrow and I have been considering packing all week.  So I might tonight, if not…I guess I will have to do it in the morning.
  2. Can I please stop waking up in the middle of the night!!  Every night this week I have woken up at about 3 am.  Apparently I am a little restless.
  3. Is pacing going to be an issue?  I actually even talked to Kyle about this.  I know that I won’t truly be happy with anything less than 4:30…I know I can run that.  Everyone says..just be happy to finish your first.  Which yes ultimately that is the goal but runners aren’t programmed like that.  We know what we are capable of and don’t want to settle for less.  But I have never raced a marathon…so I am just going to be running it which is different.  Big time!  Plus, I have MCM in 5 weeks!!!!  <–I can’t neglect to remember that while running Saturday!
  4. What am I going to have for dinner Friday and Saturday?  This is a real concern, I am going to be in a town I haven’t stayed in before so I don’t know what food is there.  I will be taking my own breakfast for Saturday morning so that is not a worry.
  5.  Running without Dare!!!!  My main running bud won’t be there!!  He has a cross country invitational that same day and his team comes first.  It will be weird not having him there for something like this.  He was there for my first 10k, half and it would be great to have him there for this but I am not the priority.  He and his team are.
  6. The rest of the weekend!  I am driving over by myself tomorrow so I can make packet pickup.  Kevin and Diggs are coming later after work and football.  The really nice part is Kevin used to be stationed at WPAFB, which means he knows his way around and he knows some folks that are still active plus some that just live in the area.  We will be able to visit his people and spend some much needed time with them.  He also plans on us taking Diggs to the National Museum of the USAF so we will get some much needed time with him.
  7. What if something goes wrong?  I have had dreams about forgetting my Huma, having my foot injury come back, feeling like trash 3 miles in…and just having a horrible race.  The cool part is, I am ok with things going wrong.  I know I will have my fuel, my shoes, my ‘plan’ and whatever else happens….is ok!  Kyle has helped me prepare physically and mentally (his workouts have really made me dig deep at times).  On top of knowing my body is capable of anything, I am prepared.  I will not allow myself to be the enemy Saturday morning.

Those are my thoughts for now anyway!  I am hoping to get heading to Dayton Ohio around 10 am tomorrow morning and will try to post something in the evening.  Of course a full recap next week for sure!!!!!

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11 thoughts on “Air Force Marathon: T minus 2 Days

  1. GOOD LUCK! (You might have already done it by now, so hopefully it went well!) Your training has been on point and you are in a completely different place – you have the training and strength. Believe in yourself! x

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  2. I hope you have a great race and are able to get better rest before! 🙂 It really is about finishing, but you’ll understand that after it’s over! 🙂 I hope you meet your time goal!

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    • Thanks! I think I have compartmentalized the satisfaction of finishing and the happiness of a time goal in two separate areas. So yes finishing is a huge feat and the ultimate goal. But not running to my potential and what I have trained for would leave a hole. If that makes sense!! haha!!

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  3. You’re a little bit ahead of me, but my first marathon (Chicago) is in a little over three weeks. I’m so scared, but also very excited! How have you decided what pace to run the marathon at? I’ve been running all my long runs between 10:30 and 11 (closer to 11 if there is heat/humidity), and I’d love to set a 10:00 pace for the marathon, but I’m not sure if that’d be pushing too much. I’m hoping that after the taper, and with cooler temps, I’ll be able to maintain 10 without too much of a problem, but I am scared of running out of steam halfway though!

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    • Stay at a more than comfortable pace for your first half…check in with your body every few miles after that. If your long runs are at 10:30-11, I would assume you should be able to start at a pace similar to that and build from it.
      Watching my long run pacing is really how I know. I take them nice and easy and make sure I am not uncomfortable at all during them. So on race day being a bit uncomfortable is expected as you are ‘racing’ instead of just out for the run itself.
      I have also been trying to negative split all of my long runs and make the second half faster than the first so I know that at the end of the race…I still have gas. Nailing your fueling is key too. Without that being right the day is almost bound to be worse that you would like.

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  4. Awww….I remember going through all of this before my first marathon. So many nerves, so much excitement! As hard as it is, enjoy this special time. You only get one first marathon so appreciate every jitter and butterfly. You’ll look back on it with fondness one day!

    Does Air Force Marathon have pacers or pace groups? If you’re really worried about pacing, that can be a huge help. One important thing to keep in mind: DO NOT be fooled by how good the first 1-10 miles feel. The main reason people go out too fast in marathons and then crash later is that they feel so good in the beginning so they speed up. The reason the start of a marathon feels so good is because of adrenaline and freshly tapered legs, but IT WILL NOT LAST. The last 13.1 miles of a marathon do not ever feel like the first 13.1 so do not fall into the trap! Listen to your coach and STICK TO YOUR PACE no matter how easy it feels at first. Trust me on this one!

    Good luck! YOU. GOT. THIS. Remember that! You can do it!

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    • Thanks girl! I am more excited than anything….I just want to get there and actually run a full! I have waited for soooooo long to do this and it is almost here!!!
      They have pacers but I do not want to be part of a pace group. I am going there to do my thing. I may use some of them as a guide. I am not worried about running the right pace or going out too fast just making sure I end up actually running the pace that is right for me. I have worked hard on each of my long runs on negative split pacing so I am confident in that also. It is just the not getting inside my own head and doubting that I am capable of running my goal. ha!

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      • As someone who has run 3 marathons, trust me: part of you will always doubt your ability to hit a time goal, no matter how well prepared you are. Because a marathon is long and scary and so much can happen. You just have to go out there and get it done. It’s hard not to think and doubt right now because until race day all you can really do is think. But once you’re out there on the course, your body will go into action mode, your legs will dial into the pace, and it will unfold in front of you. And then, before you have time to fully process it all, there is the finish line and it’s over!

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  5. First off, it’s been absolutely fantastic to have met you and been able to work with you Staci 🙂

    1) Don’t forget the lube!
    2) I’m glad I’m not the only one that does this!
    3) Stick with that 10:00 pace, no more or no less until the end, you got this 🙂
    4) Friday you can eat out and be ok, just don’t eat anything crazy. Saturday try to have a lighter dinner so you don’t have to worry too much about GI issues the next morning.
    5) A marathon is a risk, no matter how prepared you are. But, if it was easy we wouldn’t do it 😉

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