It's almost time for my 2nd Okinawa Marathon! The marathon almost got taken away from us since we're all on "time-out" for the time being. Perhaps you've seen it on CNN... due to some eh...really bad decision-making by a small number of people here, we've been placed on lock-down and aren't allowed to go anywhere off-base except if you need to drive to work, home from work, or to the hospital. But, they decided to make a special exception for people who are running or volunteering for the marathon. Thank goodness! You may not think someone would be all mad about being told NOT to go out and run 26.2 miles (actually, I think the Okinawa marathon course is a little long...26.44 miles), but I would've been. I love to sleep, yet for the past 18 Saturdays (more actually, because my running group meets in the "off-season" as well) I've been out of bed by 5:30 to go out and run in the dark. Usually, the runs are long enough that you don't even remember it being dark by the time the sun is beating down on you at the end of the run. I've spent many a Saturday afternoon packed in ice from the knee down, done lots of extra loads of laundry (but not so much since the increase in my running socks and clothes at Christmas!), and have been trying to stay hydrated so much that several times I have had to break my usually strict policy about not using the restrooms at school. (Ever since I went to the bathroom once when I taught 3rd grade at Edison Elementary School and saw a pile of poo with one neat little square of toilet paper resting atop it in the corner of a bathroom stall, I've raced home--or, in extreme cases, to the closest home of a friend of family member-- to pee at the end of the day. I believe that's why my car is typically parked terribly crooked... it's absolutely imperative that I get in the house right away and can't be bothered to take an extra minute to think about parking!)
Anyway, after making such lifestyle changes and commitments for such a long time, one actually starts to lose sanity enough to WANT to run 26.2 miles on a Sunday morning. And afternoon. It takes that long.
So, it's almost here, and in less than 48 hours, it will be all over. I'm now as physically prepared as I will be before the marathon. I'm going to go out for a leisurely 2 mile run on Saturday morning, since I no longer know how to sleep in on Saturdays. Then it will be all mental preparations until 9 am on Sunday. I've made a mental list of 10 reasons why I believe I will be more successful than last year. I've developed a new mantra, "Run smart, feel good". I've thought, compared, and calculated what I believe are "smart" and "maybe even doable" mile times. I've spent some time narrowing down the selection of the perfect sticker to conceal the pace-per-mile view on my Garmin (I want to see the total time and total mileage, but the pace-per-mile became quite distracting...and a bit disheartening from time to time... last year). I'm debating between "Keep it up" and "Way to Go". This is one of those times I'm glad I'm a teacher... I have loads of stickers at my disposal and it didn't take long to find one that will fit my needs. I've got a signed "permission slip" to be off base that I'll have to tuck into my pocket. I've chosen my outfit and recruited some fans. Some of the gals from my bunco group might go out and cheer, and a few other teachers will be out. David will be at about the 18th mile and the end. He's not allowed to go anywhere else. I've also *almost* solidified my list of dedicatees for the last 6 miles. I'm not ready to officially release the list yet, but I will say that Wentworth Miller (Michael Scofield from Prison Break) did not make the cut. Although he was very very close to being on that list. I ended up choosing someone else because I thought that daydreaming of Wentworth Miller while running might just make me lose focus and slow down. Or choke on my own drool.