Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Kara Goucher - Countdown to Patriots’ Day

By Kara Goucher

I just finished packing for my trip to Boston. At least I think I did. I’ll probably keep messing around with my luggage until the last minute, like always. I’m one of those neurotic packers who want to take everything and worry about leaving behind the stuff that won’t fit.

At least I don’t have any bigger worries at the moment. I’m fit, healthy, happy and completely ready for the Boston Marathon on Monday. I can’t wait to get out there and see what I can do. My last fine-tuning workout, a 12-mile tempo run that I did on Saturday, went well. I’ll do a little more fast running this afternoon, for sanity more than anything, and then I’ll shut it down and store energy. By Sunday I’ll be bouncing off the walls!

It’s interesting to compare this week to the week before my first Boston Marathon two years ago. I’m much calmer this time. The difference is Colt. As excited as I am for Boston, I’m even more excited about the two teeth that sprouted through his gums within the last week. Running is still very important to me, but now I have something new in my life that’s even more important. (Family was always more important than running, but this is different.) I don’t think the shift in priorities really takes away from my running, though. Being calmer and having other things to think about in the week before a big race can only help my performance, I think.

While the week before a marathon is always exciting for me, it’s also a little sad. The process of training for a marathon is such an intense journey that I’m a little sorry to see it come to an end each time. It’s like closing the door on a little chapter of my life. I get a bit nostalgic at these times. I will probably remember this particular chapter with special fondness because it started with the birth of my baby boy.

I will arrive in Boston on Thursday. Some of my family and many friends will be there, and I’m excited for that. I will keep off my feet as much as possible. A press conference and an appearance at Niketown are my only big obligations. Being Colt’s mom will be my main focus until Sunday evening, when I’ll foist him on my mom and sister so I can truly relax and rest for Monday morning.

If you’re in the city, come see me at Niketown at 8:30 Saturday morning. And if you’re in Boston to support a friend or family member who’s running the marathon, but you’re not running yourself, I hope to hear you on the course. I promise I hear every single person who shouts my name, and it really helps! I appreciate your support. And if you are racing on Monday, good luck!

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