“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”

Pema Chödrön.

OMG and WTF: It’s marathon week already. Oh how terrible I was at blogging my training, but for the last few months I’ve been trying to just lay low, keep my head down, and grind it out (with a smile, of course). I missed a few runs especially during a couple of stepback weeks in December, but overall I put in a lot of quality work. Several fast-finish long runs and race pace workouts. Logged my highest mileage weeks ever with no injuries. Perfectly executed a 10 mile race in week 15, finishing comfortably with a gun time of 1:24:10 (8:25 m/m). Up until a few days ago everything seemed pretty much on track for a sub-3:55 attempt, about an 8:55 average pace.

KB_LongRUN_BayBridge

Flashback to almost 3 weeks ago… the final 20 miler. I was a bit tired but held pretty strong until the end!

The city of Los Angeles, however, begs to differ.

la-g-la-marathon-temperatures-20160210

source: LA Times

As a lady from the land of year-round 55-65 degree weather, running in the heat is not something that I’m used to and the idea of a marathon in these conditions makes me pretty nervous. On top of this, recently I’ve discovered that this course is actually kind of hilly. Uh, how did I miss this?

LosAngelesMarathon_2011_e

Looks a wee lumpy, non? In my mind this race was all downhill. They certainly market it this way. “Net downhill” can be deceiving.  

Oy. Anyway, with my last training run completed this morning, my goals now are twofold:

1 – Focus on what I can control. This week, I’ve been drinking water, electrolytes, and $10 beet juice like a woman possessed. I’ve been researching and planning the best ways to survive the heat, and optimize performance as much as possible: First, I’m considering my clothing and, heavens to betsy, I may choose to go sans-singlet if I can muster the courage to feel oh so naked in only a sports bra. Usually I rely on course aid stations for hydration, but for this race I’ll be carrying a handheld and stocking Nuun tablets in the zippered pocket. For fuel I’ll bring along the extra salty Margarita Shot Bloks. Finally, I’m discovering strategies to keep my body as cool as possible: Run through as many open fire hydrants and misting stations as possible. Dump water on my head at aid stations. Bring frozen hand towels to the start, and grab ice and cold towels along the way. Apparently, the organizers have promised such things, hopefully they’ll deliver. This being the third straight year of high temps, this isn’t their first rodeo.

2 – Be Realistic, Stay Positive. Sub -4 was my original goal, and in this heat it would be an amazing achievement for me. That said, sub-4:10 would be an achievement. A PR (under 4:19) would be an achievement. But the reality is that with these intense conditions I might not realize any of these goals, on which my heart was so initially set. At this moment I’m trying to see the bigger picture. Training for this marathon has resulted in real step forward in my running fitness and I believe a fruitful year of racing lies ahead. I’ve learned a lot about my strengths and weaknesses, and have new ideas about how to maximize my potential in the future. On Sunday I will run my first marathon in almost two years, and I’m excited to experience this fun and scenic urban course in a city that I really like and have history with. These last 5 months represent a huge step towards getting faster, setting new goals, and having more fun on my running journey. End pollyanna rose colored glasses rant.

In 2015, Ryan Hall suggested the following mantra to those running in the record-high temps at LAM:

“It’s a beautiful day and I’m doing what I love.”

Ok then, here we go.

 

 

Advertisements

4 thoughts on ““You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”

  1. Aw. That sucks. Heat is a bitch. Even though there’s nothing to do about it, it’s hard not to be disappointed to see months of hard work come down to that. It isn’t fair, and it sucks. But aiming for a 20 minute (!) marathon PR under any circumstances is a gutsy endeavor, so kudos to you for daring to take that chance on yourself and put in the hard work to make it happen. That alone is a huge victory.

    I definitely think you have the right mindset going in, to focus on what you can control and have a good day no matter what. Isn’t that really all that matters? A finish time is just a number. You’ll get your sub-4 one day (which could very well be Sunday!). Take it from someone who wanted a sub-4 in her first marathon and ran it in 4:01 but still felt nothing but pride. Any goal worth having is worth being patient for. GOOD LUCK!!! 🙂

    • thanks for such a sweet message, Hanna! The encouragement helps so much in these last crazy days. “Have a great day no matter what.” I will be using that one on Sunday!

      the thing that kills me is that I KNOW I’ve got sub-4 in me… and I’m itching for that new PR! LA ’16 might just not be the day. Come Sunday my A-goal might (d)evolve into simply making sure the road to Santa Monica doesn’t become a death march. Worthy enough and I’m feeling more prepared for that eventuality. And it’s ok!

      Have an amazing time in Guatemala! 🙂

      • Thank you! You got this! Oh and I forgot to add, I had to laugh at your comment about wearing just a sports bra. I did that at the gym the other day and felt like a total floozy.

  2. Pingback: “I Took the Long Way” (LA Marathon 2016 race recap) | well and warm together

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s