It is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Do you feel it? It is the feeling you get when you wake up and remember you only have to run five miles instead of eight, it is the feeling you get when you skip spin class because it is not in the taper plan, it is also the feeling you get when someone asks you ‘when is the marathon?’ It is the feeling of relief, nerves and excitement all mixed together…it is the marathon feeling!  Writing that just gave me the chills. My foot is tapping and I am smiling thinking about Sunday May 20th!  The day we have all been training for is just around the corner. I. AM. SO. EXCITED.

Whenever I think about the race I cannot help but think about something I have never addressed in a blog article, a goal time. What number just flashed on the big clock outside of Lambeau as you envisioned you hear the beeping of race chips crossing the electronic line?  Are you striving for a personal best or are you just looking to finish the race? Anyone who knows me knows I am marathon crazy, and would expect for me to have a specific time expectation. Honestly for this marathon I have no idea.

It has been an interesting training season, a few good runs and a few bad ones and a lot of just okay runs. I actually do not wear a watch at all when I run. This started a few years ago when Garmins took the running world by storm. Of course I had one, and wore it for every run obsessively checked my pace as I ran along. I wanted every run to be faster than the day before. If it was slower, I would feel bad about myself and vow the next day was going to be the best. One day my Garmin’s battery was dead so I took off without it. It felt amazing! I had no idea what I went, what my pace was, if I negative split the run, if I ran 5.96 or exactly 6 miles and I did not care. It was the most enjoyable run of my running career. My Garmin’s battery remains dead in the back of a closet somewhere; I keep it just in case, but in reality I know I will never touch it again. 

I train how I feel and I push myself, but I never, ever want to feel bad about a run. After running a PR during the Cellcom last year I have mixed feelings about even setting a goal time for this year’s race. Of course my ultimate goal would be to run faster than last year’s official time of 3:48.55. When I was running last year I knew I was having the race of my life, and I do not want to be disappointed if I don’t have that feeling this year. Unfortunately, I cannot throw the Cellcom race clock in the back closet, so instead I am choosing to focus on running my heart out and loving every minute of it. Let my time be what it is, but this year’s marathon is about the experience. It will be different than last year because I will be running with one of my best friends. It is her first marathon, and after she has spent years supporting me through marathons and running the last miles of long runs with me, I am beyond excited to support her through her first!  If you see two girls running in teal tops, floral running skirts and fuchsia sparkly headbands a ‘GO KRISTY AND JENNA’ would be greatly appreciated, especially around mile 22!

Everyone has at least one major concern for the marathon, and mine is making sure I can focus on the energy, excitement and experience of the marathon instead of worrying about a pace and a time. Marathons are so much fun!  If this is your first one it might seem like running 26.2 is going to take forever, but anyone who has ran a race will tell you it was tough but that it goes by fast. My advice is to focus on the awesome crowd support the flat course and all the other wonderful things that make Cellcom such a great race. Do not spend too much time overanalyzing the specifics we are trained and we are ready, now let’s do this thing!

Oh and PS…running is faster than walking!           


-Jenna Matzke

More from Jenna:
A little crazy, a little determination
Double Digits

Is This Supposed to Hurt?
To run far you have to run far
If you’re tired…raise your hand


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