I just signed up for the 32nd Annual Steamboat Marathon. I have been running fairly consistently for nearly a year but my long runs have been 10 miles or less, my runs during the week are usually under 4 miles, and I have not participated in any races. It’s not a great idea to run a marathon without some prior race experience so I am planning to run at least one shorter race during my training – probably a 10k. It would be nice to also run a 5k and a half marathon but my main goal is to make it to June 2nd in one piece.
The training plan that I am following is a 20 week plan from the book “Train Like a Mother”, so this week will be the start of my 1st week of training as the race is on June 2nd. I’m nervous but mostly really, really excited! The course is beautiful and is also a “downhill” marathon with an elevation loss of 1400′. The downhill part might sound nice, but it means that there will be hills. Lots of hills. From looking at the elevation map, and having driven the course countless times on our many visits to Steamboat, there are rolling hills throughout the course and some bigger ones toward the end. I actually like hills, it’s just difficult to find them around my tiny little town. It’s also difficult to run further than 3 miles in my tiny little town without crisscrossing the same streets over and over and over and over…..You get my point. So, when I say that I live in Colorado don’t take that to mean that I live in the mountains. They’re visible from where we live, but there’s a reason that I can crank out 5k in under 30 minutes without pushing myself – I’m running on ground so flat it could be mistaken for eastern North Dakota. I’m going to have to make a serious effort to fit hills into my workouts if our house doesn’t sell and we are stuck in the flat lands.
Running is a favorite activity for me and in my experience, once I get past 3 miles, I feel as though I can run forever. I stop thinking about being out of breath, lose any negative “wanting to quit” feelings and me legs seem to take on a life of their own. The marathon distance doesn’t scare me – I’m planning to be well prepared for that – it’s the pre-race nervousness that I’m worried about. I am extremely shy so the thought of getting on buses with a bunch of strangers, riding to the starting line, trying to figure out where to go, getting in someones way…..I could go on and on about every possible anxiety causing situation that I could possibly be in prior the the start.
Here’s to hoping that I make it to June 2nd in race shape, that I can sustain a decent pace without Ruger there to pace me, and that I don’t let my shyness ruin my pre-race experience.