I almost keep forgetting that I'm running my fifth marathon in 12 days.
I've made myself notes to stop in the local Fleet Feet to pick up a new supply of sports beans for race day. I also need to pick up a disposable camera because I've decided I want to run the race with one. And since the weather in Chicago is currently showing highs in the 60s and lows in the 40 (can we say heck yes?!), I need to duck into Goodwill and get some clothes I can wear race day morning to keep warm and then toss them a few miles into the race.
I'm kind of waiting for the realization that I'm about to run another marathon to kick in... it just hasn't yet.
I feel surprisingly calm during this period of tapering. Usually tapering brings a sense of restlessness and sometimes anxiety. There are the questions... "Am I ready? Am I hurting myself by running less right now, even though everything says to run less right now? Am I eating right?"
Maybe it's because I have been very loose in my goal setting for this marathon. Sure, I'd love a PR.. and if I find that it's possible, I'll go for it. But really, I'm going to be perfectly content no matter what happens. It's kind of a dream come true to be running in such a HUGE marathon (45,000 people who are all just as crazy as me), and I want to soak up every minute and enjoy it. I have no doubt I'll be smiling a lot that day.
I just feel calm. It's awesome.
I'm sure when I start packing next week everything will sink in a little more. I am of course already excited. I love Chicago. I can't wait to see my best friend Steph, especially since I haven't seen her in quite a while. And I love running marathons. It'll be a pretty spectacular long weekend.
It just seems a little bit surreal this time. Training went by surprisingly fast. I almost can't even believe that I'm in shape to run another marathon already!
I keep telling people that I'm not letting myself think much about racing past Chicago. There are a TON of races happening around here throughout the rest of October and November. In fact, I'm even planning a 5K for the non-profit I volunteer for regularly that happens 2 weeks after Chicago. However, I did go on and plan ahead for something, even though I said I wasn't going to. It was purely economical... it was cheaper if I went on and signed up before the end of September.
Drum roll for some big news... I mailed in my registration for my sixth marathon.
On December 12, exactly 8 weeks after Chicago, I'm going to run the Rocket City Marathon in Huntsville. I ran this one back in 2007 and got my current PR there, so I'm hoping that maybe I'll be able to set a new PR this time around.
I think the timing is perfect. I'll have a little time to recover from Chicago, then I'll get some good long runs in again, and then I'll taper once more and go run marathon #6.
I'm pretty excited about the decision. My goal is to try to stay in at least "close to marathon shape" year round after I run Chicago. I want to start challenging myself in new ways and really working on improving my speed. I still haven't decided what other short races I'll do this year, and I definitely don't have a clue what 2010 will bring just yet... but I'm thrilled to kind of have a game plan for what I'll be doing after Chicago.
So here's to tapering! And to making more marathon decisions during the taper period!