Technically, I am not a “marathoner”. As it stands I can only say, “I have run a marathon.” And until I actually finish Tecumseh, that’s about all I can say. Once I cross that finish line though, I can start defining myself as a “marathoner” seeing as how I’m looking to start training for upcoming marathons as well. Then, as meaningless as it is, I can start saying “I run marathons”.
I did my race packing tonight, which I’m discovering for out of city marathons, is quite an ordeal. I have to pack my pre-race clothes, race clothes, and post-race clothes, including my Gu’s, extra safety pins (for Gu’s), toiletries, shoes (!), body glide, english muffins, pasta, etc. etc. etc. I can’t help but always think I’ve forgotten something. Oh yeah! Arm warmers! For this race I’m breaking out a shiny new pair of arm warmers “comped” to me by my favorite local running store. Ultimately, I’ve got the essentials for the race…..everything else is just supportive items.
Race day weather is a low of 24 degrees and a high of 38. I’m guessing we are looking at 26 degrees come start time. I’ve decided to forego the tights to keep from any unnecessary friction and resistance and to avoid any material that might absorb any more of the freezing creek water that I already will. Seriously, some of the creek crossing are almost knee high, but Saturday they’ll also be running at freezing temperatures. As if the terrain wasn’t brutal enough. Aside from my trail shoes and trail socks, I’m wearing my short shorts, arm warmers, gloves and liners thin enough to (hopefully) grab onto some gu’s and cups of gatorade, and…..dun dun dun….my circa 1987 “Dancing Dangerously Tour” Ratt T-shirt. Hey, it’s a trail race…I need all the help I can get. Let’s just hope I don’t get hypothermia.
Among everything else I’ve done “wrong” for this race, there is one dynamic that may be my biggest mistake. Not my lack of training. Not my problematic leg. Nope…it’s my soundtrack. I had a pretty brutal metal band lined up for the race, but my Ipod was left at a friend’s in Chicago and as it turns out this race was scheduled post-thanksgiving, which means one thing…xmas music! I don’t listen to anything except Xmas music after t-day, and although I’d make an exception for a scenario like this, without my ipod I’m just sticking to my normal routine. So this time around, I might have a Stevie Wonder xmas song stuck in my head, or if I’m lucky, the Carol Of The Bells performed by Trans-Siberian Orchestra or August Burns Red. That is, if my brain hasn’t frozen shut.
As said to me previously, “Oh yeah, that guy is going to beat you silly.” I needed that. Now we throw all expectations to the wind….or better yet, in the freezing creek, and just run run run. That’s all we can do now. I’ll see you all on the start line!