Monday, April 27, 2009

Pre-race Jitters

After the dinner we walked back to the hotel and I was eager to get my race gear set out for the following morning. My new friend and roommate Kristi and I stayed up for a bit obsessing (well, I admit it was mainly me obsessing and Kristi supporting my obsessions while she knitted:)), about race details before finally getting to sleep. It's pretty well known that no one sleeps well the night before race morning, so a lot of us had planned on utilizing a sleep aid of one kind or another to help us out.

Even with my dose and a half of Nyquil, I still managed to wake up every hour to see what time it was. At one point I remember looking at the clock at 12:30am and wondering if that might be too early to get up. Fortunately I must have gotten in a few hours of sleep our 5am alarm was the next thing I remember.

Here's my roommate Kristi- calm, cool and collected before her half-marathon....

We met up with more DRC runners in the lobby and walked to the start line together. With 19,000 participants and even more spectators all milling about, it was a miracle I was able to find Danielle prior to race start- but I'm glad I did. Once we got gear bags checked and found our way to the starting corral we got in on the opening ceremonies, which included 168 seconds of silence and the national anthem prior to race start. That, combined with the fact the start line was at the memorial, already had me pretty emotional before we even began.

How did my 2nd marathon anxiety compare to my first? I'll admit it wasn't quite as bad, but I wasn't feeling relaxed about it either. Sure, I knew that I had conquered 26.2 miles once before. But as any runner will tell you, regardless of your health status, the body that worked for you one day might operate completely differently on another. You can train as hard as possible for those first 20 miles or so-- but you can never know for sure how your body will respond when things get tough.

This training program actually had me running more miles and more hills than what I'd done for Arizona, so I felt very prepared. But then, there was the weather forecast... temperatures in the 70s (that is considered rather warm for a marathon), humid, cloudy, and WINDY--- 20-30 mph winds expected throughout the day.... and rumor had it that for the last 13 miles of the race we'd be running straight into it. Oh boy.... let the fun begin!

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