Well, it's three days from the big race. It's a bit strange to think that most everything I've done since July has pointed to this day, to Feb. 7, to Sunday. I know that strange sensation will only grow as we near closer to race day, and part of my preparation for the marathon will be to not let that affect me.
As I think about the race itself, I think it would be best to put my plans down here in print (not really print in the true sense of the word but you get the point). While I am not concerned with time, that doesn't mean I can just go out and run without keeping time in mind.
What I wore on my 22-miler is what I'll wear on Sunday; shoes, thick socks, awesome workout underwear, pocket-less shorts, long-sleeve black undershirt, pink Lopers shirt, sunglasses, LB hat, gloves. I'll also have my BlackBerry Bold and The Garmin with me as well. I'm taking five packets of Gu with me along with my four Fuel Belt bottles filled to the brim with Gatorade.
I am taping up the nips, probably on Saturday night. I think they'll be fine. That's one thing that I've sorta kinda gotten under control.
The other thing I might take with me is a garbage bag, in case it rains. And my bib of course.
GETTING TO START LINE
We're staying a few blocks down from the start line so my plan is to get up at about 5 in the morning, eat and get dressed. I'm going to eat a bagel and an energy bar along with some Gatorade.
RUNNING THE RACE
For a while, I'd pictured running the whole marathon by myself. I just figured that I would say hello to my Loper pals before the race and then we'd all go our separate ways. But after our 12-miler two weeks ago, one of our pace leaders said he would help pace us along if we wanted. It sounds like a great idea. Part of me thought (and thinks) that I should run this race by myself, to tackle the beast alone. But another part of me thinks that since I put in so much time with my running group I might as well see the race through with them.
Now, my pace leader offered to take us up to 20 miles or however long we needed him to. He's run 55 marathons so I think he knows what he's doing. I trust him and my initial plan is to stay with him and the group until about the 20-mile mark. If I get the urge to go alone sooner than that, I will. But I think it will be a great experience to run my first marathon with my Loper pals. There are four of us who will run our first marathons on Sunday and it will be great to accomplish the feat together, at least part of it.
Since I'll be with a group, that lessens the need for music. I am still going to have my awesome playlist with me, the entire 4.5-hour playlist but I split it up into three parts. I might tweak this a little but this is the third part of the playlist and the part that I'll probably listen to when I go solo after Mile 20.
I will have at my disposal my awesome running songs (I do have to add Johnny Cash's Highwayman in there by the way, it was slated for the second part of the playlist). Also, I will have at my disposal the fantastic piece of technology to play this through, my awesome Bold, which doubles as a phone. I haven't decided yet how I want to handle that part, if I should have Mrs. LB (and anyone else I guess) hit me up on my run at certain times or whenever she can or whatever, you know?
I haven't yet decided what kind of pose to do at the finish. I've actually put a lot of thought into this. It might be one of the four poses that follows:
I know it sounds (and looks) silly, to contemplate the final pose, but I think at some point down the final stretch this will be what helps drive me to the end. And I don't want to just feel so beaten down that I just crawl across the finish.
I will also have Mrs. LB bring me some stuff with her to finish line, notably sandals. My blog buddy Angie told me that I will want to get out of my shoes quickly once I finish the race so I'll make sure I have that option. Also, a camera (duh), maybe a dry shirt or something, some snacks, drinks, that kind of stuff as well. I know there will be stuff at the race too but I just want to be sure.
I don't know yet if Mrs. LB will be waiting for me at the finish or somewhere along the course near the finish. At my half-marathon, they were right near the finish, before the finish line, and it gave me a good jolt to finish strong. I might leave that up to Mrs. LB, though, where she wants to be at the end.
Anyway, those are my plans. I know there are many more that I didn't cover (food for the next few days, for instance) or that I didn't embellish on but I don't want to overwhelm me (or you) more than I already have.