I’m Coming for you Phoenix.

There is less than a week until my second marathon.

To be honest, this race has snuck right up on me.  It feels like yesterday when I began debating if I wanted to make this my goal race (in reality that was 4 months ago). Now it’s less than a week away!  It’s hard to believe that six months ago I was dealing with a stress fracture.

As I limped into work August 22, I knew my fall racing and marathon schedule were out the door.  

Was I done running forever?

No, of course not…but I was done running for at least 2 months.  I rested and recovered the entire two months.  It was an injury and time that I felt no need to strenuously cross train through.  I didn’t want too and I didn’t crave workouts…Looking back I was extremely burnt out and needed the rest.  I didn’t feel pressure to cross train because I wasn’t training for anything.

After completely recovering, I took two months to build up some mileage (smartly).  It was then (3 months ago), I decided maybe I could run another marathon (Why I chose the Phoenix Full).  So here I am now less than a week before the race.  I’m still in denial it is coming up so soon.  With my previous marathon, it felt like months of preparation and weeks of build up.  With Phoenix it feels like…surprise…time to go to this race (although I’ve talked about it a lot).

In less than a week, I toe the line (and bum the line in runderwear) at my first goal race of 2015.

I’m nervous.
I’m excited.
I’m ready.

With any race, people ask goals and racing strategy.  The answer is I honestly don’t know.  

I do know for the Phoenix marathon I want to finish healthy and strong.  I have only raced one full marathon and it was 18 months ago.  I don’t remember what racing that distance is like.  Sure in the last 18 months, I’ve run close to 10 different 20 milers but 20 miles and 26.2 miles aren’t the same.  I would know as I rode the pain train at New York. I might dry heave and collapse after mile 20.

The internet never forgets. 

Mile 13ish

Might as well be happy right?
Might as well be happy right?

Mile 22: Get me out of this place. 

Marathons are so fun!
Marathons are so fun!
Thanks to the famous jewelry designer Erica Sarah for this shot.  #Neverforget the dry heaving at mile 24.
Thanks to the famous jewelry designer Erica Sara for this shot. #Neverforget the dry heaving at mile 24.

My primary goal for any race, especially a marathon is to finish healthy. It always has been my first goal and it always will be.  If I can start and finish a race healthy than I consider it a success.

My B goal is to finish under 3:20. A 3:20 puts me around my PR of 3:17. I’m going into Phoenix much less trained. While the course, the race and logistics are different, it doesn’t make up for less training. I wouldn’t have trained any harder or any more and I am running this racing coming from an injury. A big positive is, I won’t have to be up 7 hours before the race. I also won’t have to travel into a large overwhelming city.  I will be at peace in the morning and be able to relax.

With any goal race, a PR is always the reach and major goal. I do think it’s a huge reach goal for this time but I’ve remained pretty healthy post stress fracture so I don’t think it’s out of reason.  I’ve been smart with my training and rested when I needed too.

In summary, I would like to continue to get comfortable with the full marathon distance.  My main goal is to enjoy myself and finish injury free.  Any time you can finish a race healthy whether it’s a 55 sprint to a marathon is a good day.  I want running to be life long and once race (good or bad) will never define my running.

On any note, I’m coming for you Phoenix with runderwear and racing flats.