Notes Before a Race


The balcony drips with petunias in typcial Tirolean style. And, also in typical Tirolean style, the balcony drips with rain.

I don’t mind the rain so much, but the cold is something I will have to overcome tomorrow, unless the weather takes a turn for the better.

We spent the day at a local (indoor) swimming pool. Mike & I let the kids enjoy the waterslide and the diving pool, while we relaxed in the ‘quiet’ zone (only those over age 15 allowed). I know that sounds ironic coming from a woman with four children, but the honest truth is that I don’t always ‘enjoy’ other people’s kids.

The adult  area was enclosed in glass, rather like a fancy hamster cage, so we could watch the kids play without being subjected to the decibles of the childrens’ pool.

After the pool, we went into town and looked through the shops. I was sorely tempted to purchase a picture of a cow with flowers around its neck, but opted for some muscle cream instead–it might come in handy tomorrow.

I am excited about tomorrow’s race. My plan is to start in ‘first gear’ through the city and then attack the lake route, which has stymied me in the past. That’s the beauty of running the same race 3 years in a row–you have an idea of what to expect from the terrain and from yourself

I’ve gotten more than my share of encouragement from the kids. Katie stayed up  late  baking gluten free brownies (as a post-race treat…they taste  great, by the way…I had to sample them)  and Libby drew a picture of me in my race number, in which she also  pledged her heartfelt love–what could be better?  Noah hugs me and talks about our plans to run a marathon together  when he’s old enough, and Will gives me kind words and the occasional arm around my shoulder, which in William-ese means he’s proud of me.

To be honest, I am nervous. I know there will be puddles around the lake, which means my feet will be soaked for the entire run. I bought a pair of compression socks today, and they might be my undoing–or they could be great, I guess I’lll find out tomorrow.

The socks  were an impulse buy. The sport shops in Austria have such great products that  I always look around when I’m here. I did have in mind how cold my legs would be tomorrow (since I only brought shorts , and because I forgot my long, purple SmartWools).  And thhis store just happened to have one pair of long running socks in my size. Hopefully, it was meant to be.

I am realistic enough to know that my sucess or failure does not depend upon the socks I wear. Mostly, it is in the months of training I’ve completed. But more than the miles I’ve logged, my success or failure is in my mind. If I can focus, stay relaxed, keep good form, and don’t give up by blaming my socks, then this race is in the bag.

In 14 hours, I’m going to give it my all, rain or shine.


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