Friday, September 17, 2010

Marathon Time! Nervous?


Seriously.  117 marathons under my belt.  Number 118 is happening this weekend on the beautiful island of Maui as I take part as both a participant and a speaker at the 40th Annual Maui Marathon.  And I am nervous.  When race morning comes it will have been 105 days between 42.2 kilometer races (I am going metric b/c Hawaii is far enough away to feel completely foreign.)  When was the last time I had such a gap between marathons?  Last year when I separated my shoulder getting hit by a car?  Nope. Sometime in 2008?  Not really.  At the end of 2007, I had an 85 day gap between Marine Corps and Carlsbad at the beginning of 2008 but that was partially because I was making a complete life change with my occupation and moving across the country. Surely it must have been the rest I took after completing 52 straight marathons, right?  not even close!  That was only 49 days.  No, ladies and gentleman, we have to go back to 2005 when I ran the Rock N roll San Diego Marathon in June and waited until October to run Marine Corps as my last marathon tune-up before the 52 Marathons began.  Yep, it has been nearly 5 years since I have had a "break" of this magnitude.

Now, obviously I have not had a break from running or racing.  Since my last marathon I have 9 half-marathons, a 15k, a sprint triathlon, and a 16 mile mountain race.  I have visited 9 different states (and close to 20 different cities), flown thousands of miles, met hundreds of people and gone through many of the trials and tribulations of love lost, funerals attended, and well, life in general.

I often ask people at book signings if they are nervous for their race.  When they say "yes" I tell them "good."  I then tell them I still get nervous before races still myself.  Sometimes they do not believe me.  well, believe me. I am sure my body can go 26.2 miles.  But in what time and hat condition will it end up, running in the warmth and humidity of Maui?

I don't know and therein lies the trepidation.  It is almost a palpable excitement. Do I have a goal time?  honestly, I am not sure.  Last weekend, I woke up, felt like death and ran my fastest half of the year.  Will I run my fastest full of the year?  (Boy, I am asking myself a lot of questions in this blog, aren't I?  Crap.  There is another one!)  Highly unlikely.  I doubt I have a sub-3 in these legs right now.  But I would like to lower my Hawaii PR of 3:20:14 ran at the Honolulu Marathon last year. So anything that breaks that time would be all kinds of nice.

I plan to carry my ROAD ID flipcam with me to document what should be a gorgeous day, even though some of it will be in complete darkness.  You see, the bus leaves my hotel at 3 AM (oh sweet fancy moses that is already making me cringe) to get runners to the starting line at 5:30 AM.  But as sunrise is a 6:15AM, the less time we run in into the teeth of the ELSO (evil life-sucking orb) the better.

I hope you are one of the thousands running one of the races this weekend.  To be honest, the projected starting temps in the 60s with decent humidity could be just about the best running weather one could ever get for a Hawaii marathon race.  Either way, nerves or not, I plan on having a blast.  I mean, I am in freaking paradise, right?



Anonymous said...

Good luck and have a great time out there!

tri-sportsgirl said...

Dane. I am having nerves as well here in Bend, OR for my Trail Run National Championship. I have a feeling you will run fantastically well and so will I! Best of luck to you!

Unknown said...

Hey Dane!
I am running only my second marathon this Saturday in Leavenworth, Washington and I am getting nervous. Did I train properly? Will I eat enough? Will I drink enough? Look at me...asking too many questions! I appreciated this post, Dane. It's nice knowing that seasoned runners like you still get nervous too!!