I don’t have it yet, but I guarantee you, that if any of the last 4 marathons are predictors, it’s gonna happen in about 4 days or so.
Here’s what it looks like for me.
- Start worrying about the weather. It’s April 22. Is it April showers bring May flowers, or will it be extraordinarily, unseasonably windy/hot/cold/rainy? I start to check the weather on my phone about 10 days before the marathon. Obsessively. Morning. Night.
- Germ Paranoia. If you are coughing or sneezing, I race out of the room, and grab sanitizer. At the end of the Meeting, when everyone else gets up to say the Lord’s Prayer and hold hands? That’s the moment I’m going to the bathroom.
- Course Obsession. I start looking at the course description. San Luis Obispo says, “rolling hills and vineyards”, which means big ass hills and no shade. I start looking at the Aid stations. The loops. Those tiny little numbers on the course map. The arrows.
- Fueling. In the next two weeks, I’ll be deciding what to take. This marathon gives Clif Shots. The exact flavor I’ve been training with. Do I bring more? Do I bring my own water for the first time? Do I rely on the abundance of nutrition they say they will have? These thoughts will be with me all week.
- What to Wear. Should I wear the black outfit that fits the best, or do I wear white because it’s going to be sunny? Which hat? Which bra? Will I remember everything on my list, and will I be able to have my cuts heal before race day. What about my socks? Which ones work? I start to obsess about forgetting my shoes at home.
- Pacers. Do I find the 5:15 pace guy and stay with him, or because I’ve trained solo, should I just run solo? What happens if I find the pacer, then lose the pacer? What if he’s a talker? I can’t deal with that? GAH.
- Race preparation. Have I run enough? Could I have done more? What if my legs die at mile 16, 11, 22? The only good part about this is knowing that I usually hit a mile 18 wall. Every time. I am starting to accept this. During taper, I wonder if the plan I’ve used is okay. Is it the right one?
- Will I be embarrassed? The haters, and there always are some…will they be right? Like, yeah, look at her thinking she can run another marathon at age 53. Who does she think she is? Will I bonk and forget how to run? Will I cry?