First off I’m happy to report that I survived 3 games of church softball during marathon week without injuring myself. Several folks advised me from playing and were very concerned about my well being (mostly my bride); and there was a moment as I legged out a double Tuesday night that they might have had a point. Thankfully, the numbers were in my favor, 20+ years (when did I get so old?) of baseball and softball combined and only a few minor injuries to speak of had me feeling confident I could handle left field and 1st base for a few nights.
I digress, marathon week is here and I’ve got lots of thoughts. First of all I’d like to thank all of my supporters that have been following along with me and literally running beside me during this process. I'd go into names, but that would make a long blog post longer! We truly have an amazing running community here in Sioux Falls and I’m so thankful to live here. This training cycle brought with it a lot of trying times that I could not have planned for and my running community has always been there with open arms no matter what. Finally, I’d like to thank my beautiful bride Chelsea Koch. While I was running in sub-zero temperatures, 65 degree race weather during the Irishman, driving wind and cold at the Chilly Cheeks 10 mile race, and training at the Sanford Fieldhouse she was completing her masters degree at the University of Sioux Falls (A marathon in its own right).
This week of tapering has been interesting; I’ve felt tired and lethargic throughout. I’ve focused on my diet and feel as though I’m eating all the time. Ironically enough I’ve lost a few pounds this week – figure that one out. Mostly though I’m trying not to think too much. The race is on Sunday, it could be windy and rainy, but that is okay I’ve trained in worse to get ready for this day.
Here are the answers to a lot of the questions I’ve been receiving lately. My bib number is 1959, I’m in the green starting group which is the 3rd wave, my goal is to simply finish – if I’m under 4 hours I’ll be happy, I’ve got a time in my head I’d like to hit but I’m not telling anyone (not even Chelsea). My race strategy is pretty simple – I’d like to make it consistently with my pace (8:50-9:00 minute miles) to somewhere between miles 15-18. At that time depending on how I feel is where I plan to “make my move”. I’ll either try to push through at a consistent steady pace or will push the pedal down and see what I’ve got for 10 miles (hopefully something similar to the Chilly Cheeks). At the end of the day I’m going to stay true to myself and my mentality throughout this process, “If I’m not having fun I’m not going to do it” so time will tell just how fun I think marathon running truly is (hopefully I can keep my streak of smiling race day photos alive).
Finally, I’d like to thank my boss and 605 Running Company owner Logan Watley. His support and enthusiasm for my running has helped make this journey a reality. Plus he is once again letting Chelsea and I invade his turf and crash for a night at his house. I’m a very lucky guy and I’m looking forward to my next great adventure on Sunday.
Greg “PEPSI” Koch