With about 60 hours left before I land in Miami and 4 days to race start, there's not much more I can do to make myself ready. I will soon start the nutrition and hydration routine that has seen me through numerous races in the past. This race is a little bit different. It compares a lot to my first ever half marathon where the goal was to finish strong, not necessarily with any time target in mind. Coming back from Bronchitis, I have lost a significant amount of speed and endurance and until yesterday, I wasn't sure if I had it in me to run 21km this Sunday. Knowing that long distance races are often much more of a mind-trick than a body workout, I set out to run 18km, to prove to myself that I can do it. Whether that was smart or not 5 days before the race, I am not certain. What I do know is that without having done this training run, the mind tricks and the race day goblins would have started to creep up on me at km 15 or a full 6km before the end, roughly a half hour. Now I have those goblins beat until probably km 19, where a mere 10 minutes will see me end the race. I think I may have won the mind battle ahead of time, take that Goblin! Long distance runners will know what I am talking about, non runners, trust me on this, it makes all the difference to be able to trust yourself and your training until almost the very end.
Yesterday's 18km was done at 5:30m/km pace, so if I do everything right, I should come in a bit under 2 hours. But I don't really care if it takes me 2 and half hours on Sunday. The course will be beautiful and warm and the cruise boat doesn't leave until 4pm. With a 6am race start, that's plenty of time to finish, enjoy the party, get cleaned up and then head for the boat. I for one will not be sad to leave the Ottawa cold behind. We've been having a patch of -20 to -30 Celsius with some rough winds making it feel even colder.
I'm not sure how much time I'll have to update the blog after the race. Follow my twitter feed if you want to know how I did. Oh, would you look at that, it's now 59 hours before touchdown ;)