Wow...two more days and I fly East for the marathon! It's time, no more training. I've got a seven mile run tomorrow with two at marathon pace as a dress rehearsal run, and am actually scheduled for two recovery runs in the days prior to the marathon, but my husband and I agree that I seem to do MUCH better with a few days off before a race and perform with fresh legs, and that I stay just as loose. I tried a recovery run the day before the Slacker Half in June and that was NOT a good race so I'm feeling okay with going against my plan for once.
Yesterday afternoon was spent with the GOTR team girls. I don't have a gift for public speaking at all but the coaches were cool and kind of bounced questions off of what I was saying, which helped a great deal, and then the fun part was opening up the floor for questions from the girls, and finally getting to run with them. I was asked a surprisingly "wow" and deep questionn regarding my half season of cross country in high school, when I dropped out because I thought I didn't really belong on the team because I was the slowest one there. The girl asked if I regretted that. The answer I gave to that question was that there's nothing I can do to change that decision now so I just try to work as hard as I can, push myself and enjoy my running NOW.
That wasn't a B.S. answer, either. In a weird way, I think it's kind of a blessing that I took up running again when I did, and that I didn't get too in to it when I was a teenager. I have the maturity (sort of) now that allows me to take crappy workouts or races in stride without melodramatics, days of sulking and cries of "I'm so awful...I should just quit this running thing altogether!" Now I just kind of laugh after bad training runs and say "wow, that sucked, but I did get through it and that's something!" I say "what the hell was I thinking," giggle and roll my eyes at myself over racing strategies that were obviously bad in hindsight but seemed like great ideas at the time. I also know that those "bad" runs just make a runner stronger so it makes me really appreciate when things come together and a race or run is absolutely fantastic. That all said...I told the girls to avoid ever getting down on themselves, comparing or thinking they shouldn't be part of a team or group....DON'T quit because you think you're not as good as X athlete. Just do it for you if you like it.
The best part was just running with them. I was pretty well blown away by the ease with which these girls could run and talk. All in all, we did two big mile loops around this park (not the usual location due to the Sarah Palin/Hank Williams lollapalooza down at our city's sports complex where the girls usually work out, going on at the same time), and MAN, it's just cool to see that I think we're officially out of the era of people thinking of running as a form of punishment in other sports, and where kids are getting back to doing it as a stand-alone form of exercise and just having a good time with it.
I recognized one of the girls from the Mike the Headless Chicken 5K and she smiled and seemed to be excited when I said I remembered her from that race. This little girl is a petite wisp of a kid whom most folks might not give a second look to at a road race, but bounced and sprung along like Tigger, looking effortless as she went on to win her age group in the heat and sun. It's just cool to see all the girls running like that, and be a part of their training.
I guess I have to really start packing now for the trip! I keep threatening to do it...hasn't happened yet. It appears that the packing gnomes are not going to show up, though, so I think I'll have to bite the bullet today and get ready to drive to Denver tomorrow evening.