Tonight’s plan is to have dinner at a Japanese restaurant we like to go to at least three times a month, followed by a movie and then bed. My wife wants to see Borat and although the Americans-are-dumb-and-not-too-informed-nor-understand-the-concept-of-irony theme seems a bit trite, it looks kind of funny. Plus, it involves sitting around and not taxing my legs, so I’m for it.
Besides, I ran early this morning putting in 4-plus miles in 25:35. All I have to do is rest and do some stretching.
Saturday’s plan is to run 5k or four miles as early in the morning as possible, followed by a big breakfast and then a trip to Harrisburg to get my race packet, number and all of that other stuff. Probably around 4 or 5 p.m., I’ll have rice with either tofu or salmon for dinner and then go to bed. I might not sleep right away, but as long as I’m horizontal I’ll be OK.
These plans aren’t something I just slapped together this weekend. Oh no. These are time-honed practices with lots of trial and error. I’m not much of a breakfast eater, but pancakes and potatoes always seemed to serve me well before a few Boston Marathons so it became part of the drill.
The same goes for a trip to the movies, which would be replaced with a Red Sox game at Fenway if we were going to Boston. However, that’s one ritual that might be retired if I go back to Boston. After six years of writing about Major League Baseball, I’ve seen enough games and have certainly been to Fenway more than my fair share of times. Going to the ballpark when I don’t have to just doesn’t sound appealing any more.
There are race-day rituals, too, which consist of coffee, two Clif Bars, more drinks and a long, long shower. I remember sitting in the shower in some hotel in Northern Virginia before my first marathon thinking, “What the hell have I gotten myself into…” as the hot water loosened my calves and hamstrings. Since then the pre-race shower is equal parts mediation and muscle warm up.
This year I am contemplating whether or not I should take Sudafed or a decongestant before the race. Hockey players are notorious Sudafed users, claiming it gives them a boost and clears the breathing passages, but I haven’t used it in training. Perhaps I’ll take one before Saturday morning’s run to see if it can clear my sinuses and throat, which aren’t in bad shape but aren’t 100 percent either.
However, Sudafed and the pseudoephedrine ingredient might not be a smart cocktail with caffeine. Plus, if everything goes according to plan, I hope to be drinking a few beers on Sunday night.
Mmmmmm, beer – the cause of and the answer to most of life’s problems.
The Olympic Marathon Trials are set for Saturday, Nov. 3, 2007 at 7:35 a.m. in New York City. That’s the day before the regular New York City Marathon, which should have a thin American field. The trials course is not the normal five-borough run, though. Instead, it starts at Rockefeller Center, heads up Sixth Avenue and into the park for four five-mile loops.
The marathon trials is always a really interesting race and holding it in New York – in Manhattan – is a master stroke. The course is lame, but whatever. It should make for some decent times in what will likely be a tactical race.
With a year to change my mind, I’m going with Khalid Khannouchi, Abdi Abdirahman and Brian Sell to make the Olympic team. This is subject to change at least a dozen times between now and Nov. 3.
Interestingly, the 2007 Chicago Marathon has been bumped up to Oct. 7, which just so happens to be the deadline to qualify for the Marathon Trials.
Get those 2:22’s and get to NYC, folks.