Monday, September 28, 2009

Time to Taper... and Some Big News!

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!


Niki said...

So exciting!! You are a marathon machine!! Have fun tapering:)

Rachel H. said...

Wow!! What great goals!! You are such an inspiration!

Paul said...

Good grief! I agree with Niki - you are a machine. Great to have goals beyond the next race, it will really help your recovery. Good stuff.

Sarah said...

That's awesome!

Kathryn said...

I feel the same way about Chicago - it is a WONDERFUL feeling, so much better than that angst and anxiety and dreading that date on the calendar (as I tend to do). This will also be my fifth.

Enjoy the 6th! At this point I can in no way say I am ready to do this all over again ALTHOUGH I like the way you think... you are already trained so why not, right? I wonder if I'll consider the same after Chicago. It's a thought!!

I hope you continue to enjoy the ride to your fifth and it looks like our weather prayers are working!!!

Alisa said...

Wow! 2 marathons so close. You are crazy =).

Here's wishing you at least ONE PR!

Nicole said...

GIRL i cant freaking wait! Pictures on the course? HECK YES! :) Can't wait to meet you, cant wait to run with you, cant wait to hang out with you! AHHH :) :) :) yAY RUNNING!!!

aron said...

woooo!!! glad you are so calm, i feel that way too - its weird! we are going to be running our 5th and 6th marathons pretty much the same times! SO FUN!!!

J said...

exciting news! Hard to think that almost a year ago things were different. Glad you are back!! Good luck with taper and the race!

NY Wolve said...

Thats awesome! good luck in Chicago, and I hope 2 marathons in eight weeks works out well!