Don't Go Towards the Light!

It’s The Final Countdown!

AKA Sh** is getting real.

Tomorrow I shall be attempting to run and complete my first full marathon at the 2014 edition of the Charleston Marathon (at least it’ll be flat!).

Before we get to my anxiety  thoughts on that, let me rewind a day and mention that I went for my last pre-marathon run yesterday afternoon (two days before race day). The training plan schedule that I’ve been following pretty closely (at least with respect to tempo and long runs, as well as total weekly mileage) called for two days off before running a final 2 mile run today. As I tend to not run the day before a race (I like to keep my legs fresh) but also do not like taking two consecutive days off before a race (I don’t want my legs that fresh), I opted to go out for my last run two days before the big race day.

Thus, I took to the beach late in the afternoon yesterday for an easy, breezy two miler. I felt good and focused on going nice and slow, which made the jaunt peaceful and calm. The upside of running on the beach during the “magic hour” was that it afforded some beautiful (albeit blinding at times!) views.

Mr. Sun, why you be blinding me?!
Mr. Sun, why you be blinding me?!
Always trying to catch the sun and never succeeding...yet!
Always trying to catch the sun and never succeeding…yet!

Back to the lecture at hand (shout out to old school Dre and Snoop…I know you two G’s are following along), I have to admit that I am pretty anxious about the run tomorrow. I generally don’t get too nervous before a race (it’s not like I’m anywhere near an elite runner and am not challenging for any sort of age group (or otherwise) win or placing), but I definitely find myself feeling anxious as I sit here typing away. Part of it has to do with the fact that this is a new distance for me, and a distance that I have never covered before. Yes, I guess the unknown is indeed scary. However, I feel as though most of my uncertainty and unease come from the fact that my last long run was less than stellar.  Had I dominated (or at least survived) that training run, I am pretty sure my head would be in a different place (as would the butterflies in my stomach).

But none of that matters now! The past is the past, right? No need to dwell on that and I should instead focus on the positive and visualize myself crossing the finish line tomorrow so that I can add “marathoner” to my CV. That reminds me that I need to add “blogger” to that as well…

So tonight and tomorrow morning, I’ll carry out my typical pre-race/pre-long run rituals and have faith in the notion that these acts have gotten me this far and thus will help power me through to the finish line tomorrow.

For me, these rituals include constructing and subsequently devouring a home-made pizza this evening along with a couple of beers (as you need those liquid carbs…and some of us need to write blogs incorporating running and craft beers!), getting to bed early (often the hardest part for a perpetual night owl like myself), getting together my race gear tonight so I only need to do a minimal amount of thinking in the AM, eating a bagel with peanut butter in the morning along with only one cup of coffee (below my normal day-to-day intake but I’ve found greater quantities can be hazardous for longer runs), and getting to the race early enough to hit a port-a-potty (hey, you gotta do what you gotta do!).

Perhaps I’ll also watch some sort of inspirational or running themed movie tonight to set the tone. Or maybe I should just watch one of my favorite movies to put my head in a good place? Hmmm…

I’m curious to hear about anyone else’s race eve or race day morning rituals along with any suggestions for a good flick to check out the night before a race. Also, is there anything you do to ease your mind or get yourself focused before a race? I’d love to hear about it!

I shall be calm and serene like the afterglow (maybe that'll be my mantra for tomorrow morning...)
I shall be calm and serene like the afterglow (maybe that’ll be my mantra for tomorrow morning…)


9 thoughts on “It’s The Final Countdown!”

  1. Hey Matt, Good Luck Tomorrow.I’m sure you’ll have an awesome run with a great time to boot. Movie wise, there’s Billy Cruddup as Prefontaine, Robby Benson as Running Brave or how about Simon Pegg in Run Fatboy Run. American Flyers, but they’re running on bikes. Oh well. Good Luck. Hey, you’re not the only one nervous about tomorrow. I’m playing dodge ball. 5, possibly 10 minutes of hell.

    1. Yes!!! I’m gonna call you tomorrow to recap our athletic endeavors! Love “Without Limits” with Crudup (haven’t seen the Jared Leto version and don’t care to after seeing him perform in the worst concert I’ve ever attended while fronting 30STM) and Alicia actually suggested watching Run Fatboy Run (which I have also seen and love…can’t go wrong with Simon Pegg!). American Flyers=also solid, haven’t seen that in a while. Thanks for the good luck wishes and same to you!

      1. It,s 10:15 Saturday morning. Hopefully your run is going well and you’re near the halfway point. Though it’s past inspiration time, I’ve thought of a couple of other things to watch.
        “Rudy” with Sam the hobbitt and Vince Vaughn. Meatballs, because in the end Rudy “The Rabbit” wins the race to beat Camp North Star
        Better still, get a copy of Super Bowl XLVI and watch Eli and The Giants ruin the patriots perfect season.
        Even better then that, a copy of 1986 Game 6 World Series. The Mets never giving up and beat the Red Sox. Ya Gotta Believe.
        P.S.- My dodge ball dreams of glory will have to wait. A couple of guys on the team suddenly can’t make it. I feel like I just finished watching ” Message In A Bottle”. There is talk of the rest of us still going and checking it out. The one guy, Gary, already has ideas for next year’s uniform. On the plus side, as I write this, it is snowing. So, there is hope for a cancellation and a rescheduling. We’ll see.

  2. Good luck, man. I usually do rabbit kidneys and water for breakfast if the race starts after 10:00. Before 10:00 I’ll just do coffee and half and half. Sweet potato, liver and some steak the night before – if I have steak…

Penny for your thoughts?