I've been fighting and holding on
But it's time to let it all go
There are not words for how much I love the video for Sounds Like Rain as performed with Ballet Nouveau when they collaborated on the ballet Carry On, over in Denver. The increasingly crappy and precipitous forecast for marathon Saturday brought the perfect opportunity to let those gorgeous Paper Bird girls sing on my blog. If you have access to Spotify or other streaming internet radio, check out the entire album. No, they're not paying me to say that.
Since The Other Half, I've continued to run and train without any breaks. I felt great after so there was no reason to take any time off. I raced a 5K put on by the local Catholic school, wore no watch and did reasonably well there, winning my age group and coming in a few seconds back from a speedy local teenager. The next day, very tired and not really feeling it, I set out for a long run of indeterminate length on the Colorado National Monument, starting from Cold Shivers Point, about mile 5 on the Rim Rock Marathon course. I was ready to call it a 17 or 18 mile out-and-back across the middle miles on the Monument, so it was a good thing when Cheryl was dropped off by her fiance an hour into my run. She'd just left her car at the marathon finish line area at the park in Fruita, so this meant I was going to get in a good, quality 21 miler in when I was tired. I started feeling less sucktastic about ten miles into my run, but by the time we got off the Monument and hit the last 2 miles on Highway 340 to the park, I was ready to be done. Cheryl having 14-15 mile long run energy at this point was a good exercise in trying to stay on her pace.
In the next week, we hit several runs on the Monument, and rather than doing one single taper medium-long run, we tried something different. Friday night, we set out from almost the beginning of the marathon course, climbing up, doing what I call "tunnel fartleks" on the climb, and then turned down as the sun was setting for some speedy downhill practice and fairly hard intervals as we tried to stay not too far behind our much faster friend Marty. When Cheryl checked our mile splits, it turned out that we'd done a good job keeping a steady pace moving uphill, and just really killed the downhill miles, so we were pleased.
The next morning, Cheryl and I met out in Fruita, and this time ran the end of the course, starting near the finish, running onto the Monument from the Fruita side, making it up to the first tunnel before turning around and heading back. This was, oddly, the first time we'd encountered other runners training for the marathon on the Monument. Realizing we were starving, we chowed down, feeding trough-style, at Starvin' Arvins (doesn't that name just scream good health and nutrition?), a bit of a celebration for the end of marathon training.
Since the weekend, I've been in full-fledged cat juggling mode. Kind of trying to hold on and get stuff done, but in truth my sleep and nutrition have not been awesome. I've had a lot of other things on my mind besides the marathon, and that can creep in and wreak havoc on the week when I'm supposed to be getting tan, rested and ready. I'm trying to refocus here in the final days, though, and did string together two restful nights of sleep in a row on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. That's a hugely neglected component of marathon training for a lot of runners-even the best of them-at times. You can train well but if you're not getting enough sleep, the body is not going to do what you need it to do on race day.
My goal today and tomorrow is to only put things in my system that benefit me nutritionally, and, well, to make sure I EAT regularly. I don't mean that in an "ohmigodshesananorexicrunner" kind of way; don't be alarmed. Trust me, I LOVE my food. With the nature of my work plus an extra full in-box of stuff to accomplish this week, though, sometimes I've gotten focused on completing a task, getting the kids out for fresh air, and then realize as I'm getting them down for nap and tummy is growling that "Oh. I haven't eaten today." Today and tomorrow are all about staying on top of having a little food here, a little food there, all day long. I have some things to throw in the juicer, too, so that when I am on the run, I have something good to put in my system.
On one hand I feel better prepared for this race than any of three previous Rim Rock Marathons. On the other, the outside "noise" and lack of zen this week have me a bit nervous about race day. I don't feel well rested with tons of energy to spare. I've put the time in to train, though, and have done so in all the right ways. I'm seeking to execute a race in which I cash out all those training deposits I've made. And, like the last like of Sounds Like Rain, I get my courage from this feeling that what I'm seeking is looking for me too.