In class, my students are working on writing meaningful transitions. I don't want them to merely use words like next, third, then, etc. I want them to create transitions that help the reader move forward, telling him or her where the writer was and how the writer will build on that information to continue the essay.
This got me thinking about my upcoming race.
You may recall my troubles at the 2010 Chicago Marathon. They were many and somewhat devastating. As I approach Sunday, I want to create a meaningful transition into the GO! St. Louis Marathon. I want to look back and where I was and use that to move forward.
Here are some lessons I learned in Chi-Town:
1. HYDRATE. Often and Early--I plan to stop at every early aid station. In Chicago, I carried a water bottle for the first few miles in an effort to save time at over-crowded aid stations, but I drank too little too often. I KNOW this mistake came back to bite me big time.
2. Use a Warm-Up Pace--After milling through the crowd for the first mile, I busted out at speeds that were way to quick. I thought this would help me get ahead--all it did was introduce to me THE WALL early. This time, I ordered special pace bands from www.races2remember.com. Instead of listing repeat pace miles 26 times, these genius pace bands start with two warm-up miles and adjust the pace thereafter. At Races2Remember, you can also order pace bands for a specific course--and they adjust pace according to elevation changes. Totally awesome! I ordered three bands, each at three different paces. I am going to do my best to follow the guidelines!
3. No Psych Outs—Last time, I totally psyched myself up by pumping up the race online and having my whole family come to watch and running the race on my birthday and traveling to a big exciting city and chatting about my marathon with any willing ear. This time around, I have tried to stay relatively quiet. I kept my mouth mostly mute on this blog and didn’t invite the whole crew (although, they decided to come along anyway:):):). I am trying to look at this race reasonably and with confidence—not hype.
4. Racing whether or not the Weather Cooperates—I will admit to the fact that I have been relentlessly checking the Sunday forecast—multiple times a day actually, but I am going to give it my all no matter the conditions. I think this is the hardest for me because it is totally out of my control. I will admit that I enjoy controlling my situation—thrive on it really. Maybe I am being taught a valuable lesson: I can prepare all I want, but there will always be things that I can’t fix, change, or manipulate. Sometimes I just have to play the hand I am dealt to the best of my ability—even if means I have to bluff to myself.
On Sunday, I will be doing my best to transition wisely into the race. St. Louis won’t just be my next marathon or my third marathon. I don’t want to say, “I ran Chicago, then St. Louis,”—I want this one to the one wear I look back, smile, and move forward to Boston.
Thanks for all your support! Wish me luck!!!
…and don’t forget to enter my giveaway!