This Sunday morning at 8:30 I'll set out for a 13.1 mile run in Central Park. My training runs have been solid the past couple of weeks (with the exception of last Sunday) and my legs are feeling fantastic. I should be treating Sunday like any other run but something feels different about it. Since this is a timed race I know that my blood sugar needs to cooperate so I can start at 8:30 am. Since I'll be running with a sea of people I know that just stopping to check my blood sugar isn't as easy as finding the next bench. This will be my longest run to date and if my competitive history holds true, I'll push myself harder on Sunday than I have at any point during my training. I'll find my pace, focus on my goal, get pissed at all those running along side me and be hell bent on making it through to the finish.
For most "normal" people a NY Road Runners race is a social endeavor, a way to get out for an enjoyable run among people you know or want to meet. For me, these things are way more intense. In addition to the concerns about my blood sugar, I want to do the best I freaking can. In life no matter what I do I want to do my best, I don't want to hold back and I want to push myself as hard as possible. I know I won't win my Sunday race, I know I'll never run consecutive 5 minute miles but if I run even 1 second less than my best effort then I consider that day a failure. We all have a potential that we can reach, be it athletic, academic or professional; fulfilling that potential has been a motivating force behind so much of what I have done in my life. This is why "just finishing" has never been good enough for me.
Lauren has laid out a tremendous nutrition plan for me. I know on Sunday I'll need to ingest a total of 500 - 550 grams of carbs throughout the day. This includes pre-race and race nutrition as well as recovery nutrition. She has noticed that one of the reasons I encounter so many lows during training is because I run at a carb deficit. I had assumed that having solid blood sugars meant my carbs were in balance with nutritional needs - in actuality it just means that I balanced the carbs with the right amount of insulin.
Sunday should be a fun day but for whatever reason I'm nervous as hell about it. My goal time is between 1 hour, 53 minutes and 1 hour 44 minutes - between 8:30 to 8:45 minute miles.