One thing he did point out were those couple of little hills along the way.
Yes, as my coach pointed out and reminded me, there are some steep climbs at the Honolulu Marathon. In all reality, I did have this tucked away in the back of my mind and it is the primary reason I chose to do my long runs upcountry on the hills versus down on more level ground at sea level. I wanted to get my body adjusted to the demands of running up and downhill. Here are the elevation profiles from my last two long runs.
I think I am okay. Yes, the profiles look very different and yes, the Honolulu Marathon hills look steep but I ran them last year. I don't remember death. In fact, the first one I was packed like sardines with other runners and didn't realize I was running up until I was almost to the top. I anticipate the same scenario with congestion slowing my pace and making the uphill climb somewhat aligned with my race plan and me so distracted on where my feet are going that I am not thinking up, up, up. And that final climb, I remember thinking last year that yes, this is the final climb and then it is downhill to the finish. The "end is in sight mentality" should come into place nicely here.
But I am not naive. Running a marathon is just as much mental as physical and there are a lot of elements that are out of my control. I cannot sweat the small stuff. I cannot control Mother Nature in terms of weather, vog, or what she gives me and when....although I can keep my fingers crossed. My plan has a bit of wiggle room with target paces so if Mother Nature does give me a present (darn Aunt Flo) I will just have to manage but once again, I am keeping my fingers crossed. It is just another "hill". I have had some training experience but in those cases, time wasn't as imperative. I typically run without pit stops....typically. I would like to keep it that way if at all possible and seriously gals, sorry guys, I would prefer to do this race without cramps, etc.
I have big goals. I want to achieve them. I have trained very hard and my training started way back in July when I started up'ing things with the Maui Marathon. My training includes the Maui Marathon and the choices I made that day when my dreams slipped away. I had the bigger picture in sight and in just 12 more sleeps I get to see how far my dreams will carry me. I am ready. I am strong. And most importantly, I am cautiously optimistic. I will break a 4:20 marathon.
Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my co-worker who starts a daily pot of coffee.
Daily Affirmation: I have what it takes to break a 4:20 marathon even with the hills!