Friday, May 10, 2013

Lift Up My Eyes

It's race week. Well, as a matter of fact, it's Race Eve. I've been preparing for this race for months, even years, and it is tomorrow.

Race week is all about preparation-especially for the longer races. It is psychological, not just physical, preparation. Mind over matter and all that.

Physically I am preparing by getting a few good swims in. They sooth and stretch my muscles, getting everything all limbered up.

I also visited the chiropractor. You all know my love for him. Well, love-hate, for him. I really don't like the vulnerableness of being almost half naked on his bench while he pounds and cracks my back, hips and neck. Especially the neck. Seriously. I feel like he is taking my life in his hands every time he cracks it. He always asks me to relax my right/left shoulder. While I am mentally trying to figure out which one that is, he cracks my neck. That distraction doesn't work twice in the same visit. Regardless, my hip is where it is supposed to be, and it isn't popping. We are good to go.

I am drinking lots of water. Extra water. Trying to get in an additional bottle or so a day. Hydration is a cumulative thing. It isn't just drinking a bottle of water right before the race. That only makes you have to use a port-a-potty along the route.

I am getting in good sleeps. Aiming for 8 hours every night. I want to be well rested and ready to pound the pavement.

I am done running. We ran 2 on Monday, 7 on Tuesday, and 3 on Thursday. The last run was to stretch and run out any kinks.

I am eating lots of carbs and protein. Not tons, but enough. I am storing good fuel for this race. I made hummus, and have been eating a bit every day. Tonight we will be having one of my favorite pasta dishes. Pasta is great runner's food. It has spicy sausage, cremini mushrooms, onions and cherry tomatoes. I shared both the pasta and hummus recipes here. 

We always eat bagels with cream cheese right before the race. They sit well in my stomach. Some food just churns around. Bagels don't. It is a nice, calm pre-race breakfast.

I will pick up my race packet this afternoon. Bib and timing chip. T-shirt and granola bars.

There are also some things I do that are not quite as sensible, but that are part of my pre-race routine nonetheless. They are more mental than physical.

I prepare by washing all my race clothes. I am still not sure what I am wearing...shorts or capris or short-sleeves or long-sleeves. Jacket or no. Regardless, it will all be clean and as sweet smelling as possible.

I paint my toe nails. Don't ask me why. It is just a pre-race rhythm. It is part of getting psyched up.

I find my race cadence. It is usually a verse or a song. Or both. I thought, after last week's post, that it would be Hebrews 12:1. But, it isn't. As I was running up hills on Tuesday I thought of Psalm 121.

"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, who made heaven and earth."

My town is a very hilly town. There is a river that runs through the center, and there is a definite river valley leading to hills. You can't go very far in this city without going up a hill.

Our race starts for the first half flat, or with a slight decline. Miles 8 and 9 are hills. Nothing slight about them. It is up and up and down and up.

We have trained on hills. But they still present quite the challenge. So, I think this cadence fits.

I will life up my eyes unto the hills form whence comes my help. My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

See, despite all my preparations, running 15-1/2 miles is not easy. It may be for marathon runners. It isn't for me. It takes everything I have, and then some.

I figured last year that it was the 5th hardest thing I have ever done-after birthing four kids. I kept telling myself, "you birthed four kids, you can run another mile." (Funny, when I was in labor with Meres I kept telling myself, "you ran a half marathon, you can give birth again." I know, I'm certifiably crazy.)

It takes determination and reliance on God who is my Strength and Help. I really believe this.

It doesn't mean I will break all course records. It does mean that barring all disasters, I will finish. It does mean that maybe it will take me 2:25 (optimistically) 2:35 (realistically) or 2:45 (pessimistically) but, I will finish.
same race-last year. Oh, and I always wear lip gloss and my hat. Another psyche thing.

I will be surrounded by my great crowd of witnesses, and my running partner (Mr. Hippie) will be at my side.

So, that is my weekend plan. I think I won't be moving much the rest of Saturday. What are you doing this weekend? Take a minute to click over to those recipes (here) You won't be sorry.