Whatever you call it, "taper madness," or just "being nervous," I've had it bad this past week. This is the first time I'll be starting a marathon with a real time goal, and I was feeling the pressure. Whenever anyone mentioned it my stomach turned to knots. It's a weird thing: I know nerves can be productive, but I also know they can totally ruin performances (speaking from experience here), so I've been performing complex mental acrobatics to get myself to chill, without accidentally walking back from my goal.
Today has been the perfect Marathon Eve Sloth Day: I'm totally nailing the "stay off your feet" thing by watching an embarrassing number of episodes of Orphan Black while carboloading. I came down with a cold on Thursday night, but I think it's leveled out. Thankfully, blowing snot rockets is 100% acceptable while running a marathon.
My strategy is to start conservatively and then try to run at or a little below goal pace until mile 20 or 22ish. I might run with a pace group, if they're giving off good vibes.
My real fear is that 8:10 will feel really hard from the beginning. But if that's the case, the world will go on.
After some much-needed reflection the other day, I think I'm lassoing my nerves into something productive. And with the exception of a few twinges that might just be my own taper nerves manifested, I'm healthy and injury-free. And tomorrow looks like a *great* day to run a marathon, with temps in the low/mid 50s all morning. They make a big deal about their % of Boston Qualifiers (usually near 10%), and those who qualify are encouraged to ring the "BQ Bell." That kind of stuff motivates me like crazy; I don't even care how cheesy it is.
If anyone was worried after last marathon's shoe disaster, when I realized on race morning that my shoes were from two different pairs, I have that covered.
Yesterday James said, "No matter what, it will make for an exciting three-ish hours," and he's right. I'm ready for some excitement.