Happy Friday!! I really look forward to the weekends so Friday’s always make me happy! I’m particularly excited for this weekend because we have our final long run of Boston Marathon training. It seemed so far away for so long and now that it is here I really can’t believe it! Beyond the 20 mile run which I’ll talk more about in a second Michael and I don’t have much planned. Naps will definitely be in order Saturday afternoon and we talked about heading to dinner or doing something fun on Sunday. We will see where the weekend takes us!
Saturday morning will be an early day but this will be much like Marathon Monday so I’m ok with that. Team in Training buses all of it’s runners to the marathon start line in Hopkinton, MA. There is an unofficial charity start and all the charities will take off for their final long run of ~20 miles. Team in Training has volunteers every 2 miles working the feed stops that will have water and Gatorade Endurance which is used on race day. We will run through Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, Natick and into Wellesley and into Newton. We will finish at the 20 mile mark. Team in Training has a 20 mile party waiting for us and then they bus us all back to our weekly meeting place where there is a bbq and all of our friends and family who came out to volunteer. Michael is volunteering and working some water stops and I have to say, I’m pretty excited that I’ll get to see him during that run. I think it will give me a little extra kick when I get close to his water stops! I’m looking forward to the after party too. It will be a fun way to celebrate the long run, and kick off tapering. And who doesn’t love a party?
When I tell people I’m excited about the 20 mile run they usually look at me like I have 10 heads. I love these runs for numerous reasons…
- With 3 weeks to go until Marathon Monday this is the true test to build confidence and know you are ready for the big day. It’s the final dress rehearsal for the 26.2 mile dance if you will.
- I try to run negative splits on this run as that is my game plan for race day. With a longer distance than my other training runs I find it works best for me to practice this more so on this run than any other!
- I use the same flavor of Shot Bloks I will use on race day and I alternate water and Gatorade at feed stations. Since it will be my first experience with the Gatorade Endurance I’m looking forward to making sure that my body won’t have any objections.
- I use kinesiology tape for my long runs on both my knee and IT band. I usually practice taping and running with this for my two longest runs and then I use it on race day. It’s important for me to try this over a long distance to ensure that it will give my knee and IT band enough support and that the taping is comfortable. Finding the right about of tension when taping can be a little tricky and for race day I need to get it just right.
- It’s an opportunity to wear my race day outfit completely from head to toe. While I can’t predict the weather I can choose an outfit that I can adjust as necessary. As it stands my top half will remain the same no matter what. My bottom half will have crops or a running skirt depending on temperatures. I ran Chicago Marathon in the skirt so I have no concerns about that. The crops are new so it will be good to be sure they won’t chafe or be uncomfortable! I also plan on wearing arm warmers for race day. Something I don’t normally run in so I want to get 20 miles done in them to be sure I will be comfortable and happy with them on race day!
- Most importantly, it’s a chance to run 20 miles of the Boston Marathon course exactly as I would on race day! I’ve run the last 6 miles before while training for New York City Marathon and have run portions of it on my own this training season. On Marathon Monday I’ll have run every mile of the marathon so I’ll have no surprises!
I think it is very important to have a dress rehearsal run for your marathon or half-marathon. If it’s not possible for you to train on the course, like it was for me with Chicago Marathon, I recommend getting out and running in the city of your race. Just an easy 3 mile run in the same town can really help you adjust and calm your nerves. If you are coming to Boston to run the marathon and need some running recommendations feel free to email me or catch me on Twitter and I’ll be happy to help!
Finally, I wanted to share this awesome tool I found for both runner and spectators alike! Boston.com has an interactive marathon course. Mile by mile it gives you information on the course, and gives spectators tips on where to best watch at that point. If you enter your projected finish time it will also tell you approximately what time you should be hitting each mile!