Marathon Training Week 13: Approaching the Finish Line

This week I got to do something that I haven’t done in a really long time.  I got to spectate at a local race, the Groton Road Race (5K and 10 K).  I can’t remember the last time I attended a race and wasn’t running in it.  It was so nice to sit back, soak up the energy surrounding me, and cheer on my husband and the other runners with my kids.

At the start, it was fun seeing everyone line up, sense their pre-race jitters, watch people’s different pre-race routines, and see them take off running when the gun went off.  My two year old son was so excited he was screaming for joy as he watched all of these strangers start running together.  I wondered what was going through that little mind of his.  While I’ll probably never know, I could tell he was in awe with a sense of wonder.

After playing in the field for a while, I made my way toward the finish line with my kids and waited for runners to start entering the track for the final portion of the race.  We somehow managed to snag a spot right at the finish line.  I have never watched the end of a race from that spot, from that perspective.  It was invigorating, exciting, and just plain awesome!  I was in the perfect spot to see each finishers face as they rounded the final turn and realized how close they were to the end.  I watched my friends daughter grab her friends hand just before they crossed the finish line together with two of the biggest smiles I have seen in a while.  What a great moment to witness!  My kids got to see their Dad run one of his best races ever and yell and clap for him as he finished strong.  I saw my friend cross the finish hand in hand with her Dad.  I watched the young and the old start sprinting and pushing and giving it every last drop of energy they had.  I saw the look of raw determination on many a face as they approached that finish and pure pride as they crossed it.  It was truly amazing to see so close up.  I couldn’t help but think about crossing the finish line of my marathon in just three weeks and hopefully finishing strong myself.

If you have the opportunity to get to a race and spectate, I highly suggest doing it.  You will find a renewed sense of possibility in life.  You will see through the eyes of each finisher what true pride looks like and want a taste for yourself.  You will feel the unparalleled closeness and support of the running community.  You will recognize the human spirit at its best.  You will walk away slightly changed by the raw energy of it all.

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Here’s my recap for week 13.

Monday-  Rest Day

Tuesday-  I headed out early for a beautiful 6 mile run on one of my favorite routes.  There were turkey along the way, some rain, and so much beauty to see in the nature surrounding me!  This was one of my favorite runs this week.

Wednesday-  Was due for another 6 miles, so I decided to take my first stroller run of the year pushing the double BOB.  WOW!  I forgot just how tough it is to push the kids.  Last year, they were a lot lighter than this year!  We got in 4.4 miles at a very quick pace for a stroller run and I was totally exhausted so we called it a day.  I’ll take it!  After all, don’t you double your mileage when pushing a stroller?  Guess that means I really ran 8.8!

Thursday-  Today was Yasso 800’s day!  I was up at the crack of dawn for this workout and my body was still feeling tired from the stroller run the day before.  I got through it though and averaged about 4:09 for my 800’s which made me very happy to see!  The workout included a 1/2 mile warm up, 8×800’s with a 400 recovery after each, 1/2 mile cool down for a total of 7 miles.

Friday-  Rest Day

Saturday-  Long run day!  I headed out at 5:45 with a great group of running buddies for my first 8.5 miles.  At 8.5, I hooked up with two other friends who are also running Sugarloaf with me and we separated and finished up at 22 miles for the day.  The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for this run and as always, the company was fantastic.  I felt great finishing and these 22 miles solidified that I am definitely ready for the marathon.  My fuel is still working well and I’m recovering well from my long runs which is a great sign.

Sunday-  My final 6 miles for this week.  I went out a bit later than usual close to home for a solo run.  I was surprised at how good my legs felt despite my long run the day before.  My pace was right on and I was even a bit faster than I realized toward the end of my run.

Total mileage:  45.6

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