Down to the wire

Holy crap! Am I really running this thing on Monday? I’m somewhere in the surreal stage of visualizing myself actually running the Boston “frickin” Marathon. My first marathon was in 2007 (San Diego Rock and Roll) and I had a delusion of qualifying for Boston in my first marathon race. I remember my goals were;

1) Complete the training. Sixteen weeks and 500-600 training miles can be intimidating in and of itself. Getting through it injury free by race day is an accomplishment.

2) Sub 4 hour marathon. Again. Dilusion. I didn’t know any better and certainly didn’t know that only a small percentage of people run a marathon and even smaller percentage can run a sub 4:00.

3) Qualify for Boston which required a 3:30 time. What the hell was I thinking? Fantasy, delusion, insanity.

I accomplished #1 and #2, but #3 would take three more marathons, but I was obsessed with the goal from the very start as witnessed by my blog name.

I’m in the second week of my taper period (shortest taper I’ve used before) so I’ve had less time on the road, and more time to mentally prepare for my trip and race. Monday and Tuesday’s short runs felt sluggish despite the 7:24 and 7:38 pace respectively. How can I feel sluggish when I’m arguably in the best shape of my life? 1,255 would be the answer to that. Since last July, I have trained for two marathons (CIM and Boston) and logged 1,255 training miles. That tends to wear a dude out, so I’ve enjoyed the taper and catching some rest, and good sleep.

Last night was the start of laying out the race day gear which I will undoubtedly go over several times prior to leaving Denver and a number of times leading up to Sunday night. Apparently, I’m a bit OCD when it comes to this part of my marathon preparation according to my wife. The weather report earlier in the week was ideal (58 degrees with a tail wind. Today? Not so much as the weekend rain may spill into Monday. My gear with some variability based on the final weather report Sunday night;

1) The singlet. I’ll be donning the purple jersey honoring Kyra Meyer as part of Team in Training and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Kyra lost her battle to Leukemia last year at the age of 16.

2) Cold weather hat. I likely won’t be wearing this if there’s sun or rain, but better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

3) SmartWater. I won’t be packing it, but it will be one of the pit stops we’ll make in Boston to keep myself hydrated up to race time.

4) Glove Option #1. A lighter glove should cool race temps come Monday.

5) Nutrients. I go with Shot Bloks every four miles and hold out for reward around mile 20 with a PowerBar banana strawberry gel pak. Something to look forward to later in the race. Kinda like dessert.

6) Amphipod belt. Should cold weather prevail and I run in tights, I’ll use this to carry #5.

7) Garmin. Remember the charger, cable and to charge the night before. Hopefully, it won’t go out like it did two years in a row at Mile 16 in San Diego.

8) ASICS DS Racers with tuned orthotic. A lighter race day shoe than the normal ASICS 2150 I’ve typically run in. It has worked well for me this last month. I’ll let you know how it performs in a race. One shoe adorns the TNT toe tag. My ID that will hopefully serve no purpose on Monday.

9) Nike briefs. Only used if I have to use #13. I’ll go “commando if I run in #11.

10) Running shorts. These have a zipper pouch in the back that are the perfect size for the nutrients I’ll need throughout the race. I won’t pack beer money in there like I did in San Diego (which I lost on the freeway pulling out goo.)

11) Arm sleeves. These are the nylon/wicking variety. If race temps are cold, I’ll wear these. They worked well in Sacramento (CIM,) but don’t buy the cotton ones.

12) Skins running tights. I’ve worn these in warm weather and in the cold. They help keep the leg muscles happy. Race day decision on whether I run in these or shorts.

13) Saucony Heavier gloves. I don’t think I’ll need them, but will dictate this one.

14) Race jacket. Will likely stay in the bag unless we have rain or really cold weather.

15) My foam roller. Not the kind you put in your hair, but a portable chiropractor/masseuse that I’ll carry on the plane and use frequently prior to the race to un-kink the back and stretch out the leg and IT band.

16) Race day hat. Depends on the weather. My favorite training hat.

17) Oakley Flak Jacket Sunglasses with two lens options; sunny day or cloudy day. Hoping for sunny day.

18) Smart wool socks lined with body glide. Sorry Thorlos—cotton is not a distance runner’s friend. Smart wool minimizes the chances of producing “cherry tomato” blisters over 26.2 miles.

19) Power Balance bracelet. I’ve talked about this one before. It’s supposed to have magical powers for athletes. I qualified for Boston wearing one, so this one’s making the trip.

This afternoon’s race was a brisk 7:17 pace. Don’t tell my running coach I ran that fast today, but I couldn’t help it. You know it’s a good run when you’re doing the “air drums.” Tomorrow I will visit my running PT and guru, Mark Plaatjes in Boulder for a last minute adjustment to my left ham/glute as well as last minute tips on running the Holy Grail of marathons; the 114th running of the Boston Marathon. Gulp!


  1. 3 years of work into this day. I'm proud of you and don't even know you.

  2. You remind me of myself on race day (super super OCD - three different outfits and many options and double, triple, and quadruple checked). Amazing, amazing job qualifying and you'll do great! :)

  3. Kathy Horton HudsonApril 17, 2010 at 3:44 AM

    Ty, I had no idea that there was so much "stuff" involved in running a marathon. (Of course, running to the mailbox is long distance running for Wishing you the very best of luck on Monday! Just qualifying for the Boston Marathon is HUGE! Enjoy every step of that race, be very proud of yourself, and know in your heart that so many many people are cheering you on!!!! God Bless, my friend!!!

  4. I'll pray for you tomorrow! Good Luck!!!!!!

  5. I'll be praying for you. You're going to do awesome!


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