Friday, February 29, 2008


SavageMan is coming. Sept. 21. You've got to click on the link, just to see the slideshow of course images that plays in the banner, including beautiful misty images of the foggy lake swim last year. You just gotta see this course. It'll make you want to register.

I'm still in my 2-week post-marathon rest from running, but I'm back to biking the 16 miles to work Wednesday thru Friday.

I haven't recovered enough from everything (illness, marathon) enough to be able to bike The Monster Hill, which I have determined via GPS to be, disappointingly, only about 11% grade over 0.2 miles. Wednesday I walked it to measure it; yesterday I started riding it but bailed after probably 50 yards.

I have got to get back to getting up that hill. The Westernport Wall at SavageMan averages 25%, with one section at 31%.

I've got 6-and-a-half months. With hills around Winchester, VA, where we'll be staying, and sojourns into nearby Garrett County to see our family, including baby Sarah, who is due May 22; I expect to train on the actual race course during those visits.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


This happened years ago, when I was in my Purty Thirties, at our son's Little League game.

We were sitting in the bleachers and I looked down the line towards first base, where our son was headed. When he got there, I started to look back at home plate but caught a man down at the other end grinning at me, so I smiled back. He was wearing a hat that said something, but I couldn't make it out, so I smiled again and turned back to the game.

Well, in the course of your son's Little League game, you look towards first base quite a few times, and each time I did, this guy met my glance, and I looked at his hat, trying to make it out, and he grinned at me, and I smiled back because I'd been caught staring at him and his hat. This little scenario repeated itself every little while for the whole game, he smiled, I squinted at his hat, I smiled.

Eventually the game broke up and the bleachers started clearing out. The man with the hat came closer, and finally I was able to read what it said:

"Smile if you're not wearing panties."

Saturday, February 23, 2008


I'm still backtracking.

Monday, Feb. 18, the day after the marathon

I'm euphoric. Although my marathon didn't go as planned, I had a wonderful time. I've got a medal. I've got a new tech shirt. I've got a Texas marathon on my map. I showed up, I ran, I conquered!

I walked the last 9 miles because I'd been sick and I'd messed up my race strategy and my nutrition, but I'd trained for 4:15 and expected 4:30.... suppose I hadn't blown up? Suppose I hadn't been sick? Suppose I'd done it "right?" It was my last marathon and I'd hoped to go out in a blaze of glory.

Of course, a REAL blaze of glory would have been 4:15 and an entry into Boston. Which, of course, would have meant another marathon.

But..... suppose..... hey, I'm all trained up and then my training went out the window. Except it's still in me. Suppose I rest up and get over my illness, and in a month or so, go do another marathon, and get it right this time?

I start cruising the internet for possibilities.

Dang. Look at this: The Big D Texas Marathon. April 6. 7 weeks away. In Dallas. As it happens, we're going to be in Dallas that weekend for our nephew's wedding on April 5.

Dang, I could do this. It's only $75. I'm excited. I can take a no-running rest for 2 weeks, get over my illness, do just one more 20-miler 3 weeks before the race, and go for broke, as long as I don't drink too much at the wedding.

I don't even have to decide yet. You can register on race day, $85.

I get excited. I feel elated, high as a kite. I can do this!! I want to do this!!

My husband, who always, always, always supports my athletic training and events, who helps us afford new gear for me, who goes with me whenever he can, questions me. Why do another one now? Didn't I need a Texas marathon, and didn't I just run it? What's this about "doing it right?" Besides, we need 4 new truck tires, and $75 is one-third of a truck tire.

I crash to from the clouds to the ground. The parachute didn't open. Forget it.
Evening: I have gone to work at the daycare the day after my marathon, medal in my tote bag, pain in my quads, confusion in my heart. I want a "better" marathon. I use my hands all afternoon to support myself crouching down and getting up, picking up toddlers, sitting on the floor with them. I hurt. My throat is scratchy. My head aches. I am tired.

This is marathon aftermath. And do I really want, again, in less than 2 months, to struggle past mile 23, mile 24, mile 25, wanting to quit, struggling not to slow down, or maybe having, once again, crashed at mile 17 and been walking since then? Or scrabbling for a 4:30 when what I need for Boston is 4:15, and there is NO WAY I can run a 4:15 anytime soon???

I realize that thinking about this marathon in Dallas is buying into a mindset I normally resist: that the only "better" race is a "faster" race, and I don't buy that at all, and I discourage it in my friends. "Better" is more than "faster." "Better" is stronger, or more comfortable, or more fun, or more satisfying, or digging deeper to hang in there..... "faster" is not the only "better."

I ponder. Putting aside the notion of "faster," it would be hard to have a better marathon than I ran yesterday. I ran strong after a conservative start and put in a 10-miler that, as I said in my report, would have thrilled me had it been a 10-mile race. I had surmounted a lot of obstacles, including training minimized by work and then a bout of die-hard illness.

Here is what went down on Sunday: I ran a great 10-mile race, followed by a 10K cool-down, followed by a 9-mile Appalachian Trail Training Hike. I met a wonderful friend, I had a lot of fun, I cheered on my suffering compatriots, I petted dogs, I thrilled kids by taking candy from them, I got a medal and a shirt when shirts were hard to come by, I finished happy as a pig in a poke.

This marathon had a taste of everything I have loved in 20 years of marathoning.

Maybe I don't need to do Dallas. Because I really did go out in a blaze of glory.

Friday, February 22, 2008


Thursday, Feb. 21

Because I'm still not ready to ride my bike (legs and throat are sore), I'm still taking Steve to work and collecting him after I get off from my own job. It makes a very long day for both of us. Monday, the day after the marathon, I had a scratchy throat again, which became a very painful *sore* throat Tuesday and yesterday. It's about 50% better at most today; this is Day 3 of a sore throat and it's recommended that you see a doctor for a sore throat that lasts 3 days.

When Steve and I left for his job this morning, there was an injured coyote lying in our driveway. It got up and hobbled off to the side of the driveway at our approach, lying down again just a few feet from the driveway. When I got back over an hour later, it had moved away few yards through a fence into an adjacent field, off this property. I called Animal Control to report an injured animal and they said they'd be out.

Then I took our cat, Annie, to the vet, for her first illness in the 14 years of her life. Some kind of respiratory infection. When we put her on the scale it wiggled and she jumped off and grabbed onto the inside my lip. I had to unhook her claw like a fishhook and got a laceration about half an inch long. The vet gave Annie some amoxicillin and I took her home.

The coyote was dead. The groundsworker here had told the landowner that Animal Control was on the way, and the landowner went out and shot it.

Since my throat was still sore AND I now had a cat-claw laceration through a mucous membrane (cat claws dig in cat-poo, ick) at a time that I'm in a generally run-down condition from being sick 2 weeks, running a marathon half-sick, and have a new sore throat, I trekked over to the urgent-care center for the third time in two weeks and was given a new antibiotic. I got the same doctor, who recognized me as the one with the worst case of conjunctivitis she'd ever seen in all her practice. Thanks. She asked how my marathon went. Thanks! I told her I'd run half-sick and she said, "Well, at least you finished." Good answer!!! She gave me a new antibiotic for my throat and my cat-scratch.

Then off to work, where one of my 19-month-olds had a febrile seizure. I'm a nurse, a seizure doesn't freak me out, but it was definitely a departure from normal at the daycare center.

What a wild day. Injured coyote, trip to vet, dirty cat injury, dead coyote, doctor visit, kid with a seizure.



Postscript: Today, Friday, Feb. 22. I'm better, rode my bike to work, taking it easy in the low gears. Annie's respiratory infection is better but she's started limping badly on her left hind leg (like the coyote?) so I'll probably take her back to the vet tomorrow. We haven't heard how the little girl with the seizure is doing. Usually the way it goes is, temp starts going up, seizure starts, seizure stops, kid proceeds normally with the rest of her ear infection or whatever it is. I hope she's OK, and she probably is.

The coyote still lies where he fell in the field. He'd gone through a fence and is technically on the neighboring property so no one from here has moved him and the neighbor, ironically a vet, probably doesn't realize he's there. I guess the buzzards will have to take care of him.

Life is weird.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


If you haven't read my previous post yet, you should, if you have the time, because then this one will make more sense. In fact, if you back up a few more, to "The End is in Sight, you'll see that I was calling this "My Last Marathon" weeks before marathon day, and that is what I planned to entitle my race report even then.

And then there was "The Plague," which nearly meant that at my most-recent marathon, the Vermont City Marathon last May, I had unwittingly already run my last one.

OK, on to the show.


    Photo by Ellie Hamilton around Mile 24

I needn't have bothered setting the two alarms. I'm awake at 2:30a.m. Just awake, not deathly ill, although I still have a headache and a scratchy throat. I work on relaxing all my body parts and dozing for another 2 hours. At 4:30, my planned rising time, I get up and take my temperature. 98.9. Hmmm. At low-temp time of day. I don't feel well. I do not feel like doing this. I feel like going back to bed. It's not too late.
One Imodium on an empty stomach with just a swallow of water is my standard day-starter when I have a race or anything that starts early and lasts long. Since I had the runs a little yesterday, I take one more half an hour later for insurance. I force down a little bit of yogurt. I do not feel well. But you never know, and I still want very much to meet Skatemom. If I don't run, I can give her a good-luck hug and ask her to carry my thoughts with her.

I put on my race clothes and drink some water, but I don't want it. I take a couple Tylenol and wake Steve up. It's time to go. If we go. It's still not too late.

Journey sees me with my running shorts and Ironman hat on, and pricks her ears, raises her eyebrows, and lifts the back corners of her lips. "Aww, I'm sorry, you're staying home," I tell her. Down go the ears. Down go the eyebrows. Down go the lips. Down goes the dog to her cushion. Down goes the chin onto the paws. I really don't have to do this.... I can still bail.

In my hip pack I have, along with gels, salt tablets, X-Strength Excedrin, and Imodium. On a last-minute flash of practicality, I also stash my insurance card into my pocket and write on the back of my bib, along with all my medical info, "Insurance card in rear shorts pocket." I have never done this for a marathon before. Ironman, yes, but not for a marathon. Today I pack my insurance card.

And we leave. I keep pondering saying, "Let's just turn around and go home.... I'm sick, I don't have a marathon in me today."

I wrestle with this all the way to the race.

We park somewhere and walk a few blocks to the start. I have not researched exactly where the start is, but we follow groups of people dressed for running, and we find it. The PA is blaring: "If you have had vomiting or diarrhea in the last 24 hours, do not run today. There will be other races. If you do not feel well today, do not run." ~Sigh~ He hasn't said, "Do not line up, do not find your friends." I still don't have to run just because I'm here.

I find Skatemom amazingly easily, in the 4:30-finish area, where we'd agreed to meet. Skatemom was running around 10:20-10:30 miles in training, and although I trained for a 4:15, I've been thinking for several weeks that although I'm making the training paces, there's no way I can keep it up for a whole marathon, but I've thought that on a good day I could pull off a 4:30, so that's where we start, even though I am still not sure I'm going to start, and less sure I'm going to finish.

Skatemom is delightful!! If you get a chance to meet her, you gotta make sure you do. She's so cheerful and delighted with everything and just makes you feel better just being with her. While we chatter, I leanmy back against Steve's front just for something to lean against, since there's no place to sit down.

And then the cannon booms and the fireworks go off and after a 6-minute walk with 12,000 other bodies we cross the starting mat under the rockets' red glare and I start my watch and we start jogging.

Skatemom and I talk about a bunch of stuff, and jogging doesn't feel half bad, and we make the first mile marker in 11:30 and walk a little. This isn't bad. In fact I feel a little better. We jog some more and then I start feeling actually pretty good. We hit a hill and I find I don't need to slow down for it.... I've run worse ones back home in Western Maryland and this is the kind I call a "Power Surge." And amazingly I find I have the power. I seem to have made that miraculous recovery I didn't hope much for last night. Or this morning.

Skatemom and I had different run/plans and after about 3 miles she want to follow hers (run 10 minutes/walk 1) and I'm thinking I can probably do OK with mine (run 2 miles, walk 2 minutes) so at that point we each go on with our own race. I'm going to miss the company, I can feel it already.

Although we started in the 4:30 start area, the pace group that was there was the 4:45 group. I didn't see the 4:30 group anywyere close and was thinking, since I probably wasn't going to finish and still might not even start, I wouldn't bother finding them. But now, 3 or 4 miles into the race, I'm ahead of the 4:45 group and feeling miraculously good and I start thinking, If I can catch the 4:30 group, then when I reach them I'll be able to slow down to stay with them. Or if I don't catch them, I can still run 4:30 pace myself and come very close to that at the end. If I finish. So I start running pretty peppy, looking at my 4:30 pace band and finding that by 6 miles I'm within about 15 seconds of the target split, although I still don't see the group. It can't be long now. I've been getting closer and closer with every split. Even though I'm running 2 miles and walking 2 minutes.

I was scheduled for a gel and salt tablet at 4 miles but felt like I didn't want them. Ick. I really didn't want them, even though I felt well, I just thought.... nah, I can't put those in my mouth right now. So at my 6-mile walk break I take those and then start running again to try to find those 4:30 folks. My watch is showing 1:02:26 at 6 miles. This is not half bad, considering the conservative start and my walk breaks. I am gaining on them!

But at mile 7 I see I've lost about 15 seconds and am now about 30 seconds behind the target split, and at mile 8, even though it's been 2 miles since I walked, I'm off by close to a minute. I don't feel as though I'm slowing but I obviously am. I'm fading. Maybe I better walk a little longer this time, rest up a little try to get it back. I duck behind a bush and take a quick stand-up pit stop, just for insurance.

At mile 10 I'm at 1:44, not a bad 10-miler at all; in fact, one I'd be thrilled with in a race.

But I can tell I'm getting tired, and I'm doubtful I'll catch that group, but the 4:45 group is still somewhere behind me, and maybe I better walk a little longer, maybe 5 minutes, just to save myself. It's going to get easier from here because the half-marathoners split off onto a different course, and by the half we'll have more downhills than ups. I'm going to walk awhile to be ready.

Except, somehow, I now feel really tired when I start running again. At 11 miles I've lost more time and I think, "When am I supposed to walk? 11 miles or 12? How many miles has it been since I walked?" Like, duh, walk every 2 miles, that's the even-numbered ones, sugar. But I was losing it.

At 2 hours I'm hurting. Hips, quads, neck, shoulders. I pop 2 X-Strength Excedrin.

By 13 miles I'm thinking maybe I'll call Steve and tell him I've had enough. I really do not feel peppy at all anymore. It's just going to turn into a bad day.

14 miles and the walks have become random, more frequent, and longer. It's been an hour since the Excedrin and I pop another one. What-the-hell, might as well go for broke, and I pop a 4th one. This brings me to the equivalent of 2 X-strength aspirin and 2 X-strenghth Tylenol (Excedrin is not very strong, really.)

I'm thinking the 4:45 group is still behind me, though, until the 5:00 group catches up to me right before mile 15. I tell them they've got a new group member and they welcome me. Approaching the mile marker, they tell anyone who wants to, to go ahead, because they're in a competition to see which pace-group leaders can come the closest to hitting the splits right on the head, and they need to slow down a couple seconds to hit it. It feels very comfortable running with them. I'm happy.

Less than 5 minutes later they leave me in their dust.

Maybe I can make a 5:30.

But by mile 17, I'm done. This sucks. I want to bail. I don't feel sick, and thanks to all the Excedrin I don't hurt... I'm just flat-out done in, just t-i-r-e-d. I've gotten my nutrition all messed up skipping scheduled gels and salt -- I've taken some but not all I planned because my timing, running, walking, sweating,and exerting aren't as I planned, plus I've just been forgetting. I started too fast trying to catch my pace group, ending up running under the right pace, and I realize I've blown up and blown it. I'm at 3:31 at mile 17 and even if I walk the rest of the distance I'll still make the 7-hour cutoff.

So that's what I'm going to do. I've gone this far, I'm not quitting, but I'm not running. This is my last marathon and I'm going to make it last and have a blast.

And once I make that choice, the worry is over, the pressure is off, I'm happy again, the frustration vanishes, and I start having fun, remembering what fun it is to have fun in a marathon, petting dogs, hi-fiving kids, joking around with fellow sufferers about how bad we feel, laughing uproariously over a sign on a church that says "TORTURE IS WRONG," groaning over the ubiquitous "It's all downhill from here" line the spectators keep tossing us, and I am partying there in the back of the pack and I don't care how long it takes me to get there, just give me my final medal and finisher's shirt and let me go out in a blaze of glory.

Now and then I get inspired and run a little bit. I pick up with a girl who's run/walking about 20/20 (seconds) and that feels good for awhile but then I decide to go back to walking. Some gallant spectator has left their chair and I sit in it and take a break for a couple minutes, cheering and getting incredulous laughs from marathoners shuffling by when I tell them I'm taking a break.

I walk or briefly jog with lots of folks. A guy who's got blisters. A woman whose hips are killing her. She's running with a man who's training for IM France so I regale him with my IM Florida horror stories. Now and then I sing out or yell out, "I AM NOT DOING THIS EVER AGAIN!!!" and get either laughter, cheers, or silence from my neighbors, depending on whether they're in it with me or too miserable to acknowledge or just listening to their iPods. But this is definitely my last marathon, I've known that for weeks, and I am celebrating it, hallelujah, baby.

Slowly the miles tick by, in 15, 16, sometimes 17 minutes. The end is near. I started, I've kept going, I have not DNF'd, I no longer feel sick (I must have killed it), and I'm going after that medal and shirt, and somewhere in the last mile I start running again and cross that mat running and grinning from ear to ear.

5:45:09 on my watch. It's done!! My marathon career is over!! I am never going to do this ever again!!

They are out of finisher's shirts.

6,000-runner field limit, 7-hour cutoff time, and they are out of finisher's shirts before 6 hours. How can that happen????? But I do have a medal, and then the clothing-dropoff-pickup guy tells me they may have shirts several blocks down the street at the "Shirt Exchange," where you can exchange the shirt you got at the finish for one that fits; or, if you have a race bib and medal but no shirt, you can exchange your no-shirt for an actual shirt, if they have any left and you want to wait in a long line.

I waited in the long line. I toughed out the whole course, I wanted my d*mn shirt. The shirts ran HUGE and everyone was exchanging for smaller sizes, and supplies were running low here, too. Luckily, even though I'm still 15 or 20 pounds overweight, I'm essentially a very small female, and they have men's X-small which fit me fine. So I am finally in possession of a finisher's tech shirt for my efforts and my $110 entry fee.

And we're walking back to the truck and I'm very, very happy to have started this race, let alone finished, and I'm tired but not sick anymore, and my quads hurt but not very much, and I never, ever have to run another marathon.

Except.... I trained so hard and I know the things I did that made it go wrong (besides getting bronchitis a couple weeks out) and I know things I could do differently (like following my race plan) to make it go right. Maybe I will do another one.

Just not this year.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Of course I want to write about the Austin Marathon, but I need to describe it in perspective starting with the day before -- and that's too much for one post.

So I'm starting today with the day before, and we'll take it day by day from there.

Saturday, February 16

After having had bronchitis (etc.) for 10 days, feeling better (and running) Wednesday and Thursday, on Friday I felt like I was getting sick again,and on Saturday I was worse, with a headache and scratchy throat and just feeling sick all over. Got up early, though, to feed the creepy critters (45-minute project) and be ready to drive Steve to work, which I had to do in order to keep the truck to go to packet pick-up.

TriSkatemom and I had plans to meet for dinner, and I was dying to meet her finally, after previous near-misses.

So I drove Steve 45 minutes to work, then drove back to Austin and picked up my number and race packet. I called Skatemom and we decided, instead of dinner, on a relaxing, sleep-inducing pre-marathon soak in her hotel's hot-tub. I can't tell you how good this sounded to me, since I live in an RV with no bathtub, and was currently aching all over. I wandered slowly around the expo looking at stuff I either didn't want, or wanted but couldn't afford, and feeling worse and worse: tired, thirsty, headachey, sandbags for lungs, sandpaper for eyelids, and finally thought, there is no reason for me to be here, and I went home.

I figured that my only hope for even considering running was to go to bed and stay there. I knocked on our neighbor's door and asked if she could do me the tremendous favor of taking over the afternoon feeding of the creepy critters. I even called Skatemom and cancelled our hot-tub plans. I mean, I felt THAT bad. And I went to bed.

I had to be up again at 4p.m. to go pick up my husband, and I wanted to hit the sack at 6 when we got back, but I hadn't packed my race stuff yet. And then I got the runs along with my other symptoms. I was tempted to just say, "I'm not packing, I'm skipping it, I'm sick." But I took some Imodium and Tylenol and vitamin C and thought I might make one of those miraculous recoveries, so I continued to go through the motions, behaving as though I were running the next day, just in case. Pinned my number to my shirt, tied my chip to my shoe, packed my gels in my hip pack, wrote my name on my pre-race garbage-bag warmups (so Skatemom and I could find each other), did everything as though I expected to run, even including shaving my legs for the occasion....even though I was 60% sure I wasn't running.

In bed finally at 8:30, loaded up with medicine for cough, cold, pain, and sleep, I debated whether to bother setting an alarm clock, or just forgetting the whole deal. I set two alarms, and fell asleep feeling like crap.

Friday, February 15, 2008


Guess who I had lunch with today?

Sherly Perly!! What fun! She's here in Austin from Florida, visiting her sister Joyce. The three of us had lunch and what a grand time we had! Talked and talked and talked for 2 hours. Joyce is a marathoner, too. So we all had lots to chatter about. I met Shirley at Ironman Florida in 2006 and it was great to see her again.

Be sure to go to her blog and click the link to see her video-entry to Team Evotri, a community of athletes who use their own endurance-sport experiences to reach out to challenge others to pursue active lifestyles. The top ten videos will be available for viewing and voting at Team Evotri on Monday, Feb. 18. If Shirley makes the team (through your votes) she'll be part of this inspiring effort. Plus, she'll get MAJOR schwag!!

Tomorrow I get to meet up with Skatemom! This is Blogger Weekend in Austin!!


I'm recovered and ready to run the Austin Marathon on Sunday. Except I did short runs Wednesday (20 minutes, to see if I could run) and Thursday (4 miles at 9:42 avg including a couple minutes of walking) and today I feel it a little. Prior to Wednesday it had been 17 days since I'd run a single step. Maybe the pace run on Thursday was a little much.

There's athlete tracking by text or online chip-tracking. My bib number is 4098.

Tomorrow is packet pickup and it could be tricky. BAD WEATHER expected, not the best day to be driving anywhere. See this mess?

The pink is a winter storm moving east; warm moist wind is coming up into the tan section in Texas, where at present there's a "Hazardous Weather Outlook." Strong-to-severe thunderstorms with possible tornadic activity. I'm looking at the hour-by-hour forecast trying to figure out when to slip into town, grab my packet, and scoot back home. Guess I'll skip the expo. I was really looking forward to it but might as well save my money and my energy and get back home before storms start (about 11a.m.) The Weather Channel is calling it "potentially the most dangerous February day in Texas history." Great.

Sunday, however, marathon weather will be practically a dream.
7:00a.m. start -- 48*F, clear
12:00 -- 61*, sunny
Wind -- NW at 10-15mph, the only possible kink. However, the loop course goes more or less north for the first half, and more or less southeast with a net elevation drop the second half, so negative splits are possible.


Saturday, February 09, 2008


Usually about 2-3 weeks before a marathon I get a cold or something. I call it my standard pre-marathon illness.

This time I've got something that ain't no plain ol' cold.

I felt unmotivated on Sunday but that's not unusual. Skipped my planned 12-15-mile run. Monday started a progression of increasing fatigue, achiness, sore throat, headache and cough. Called off work Wednesday thru Friday, on which morning I woke up with blood-red goopy eyes as well. Like, gross. So now I'm on a week of Augmentin and a week of quinolone-antibiotic eyedrops. The quinolones include Cipro which is sometimes associated with tendonitis and Achilles tendon rupture, but the doctor assured me that the drops would have only local effect and would not rupture my tendons just in time for the Austin Marathon next weekend. I can't wear my contacts for a week and have to pitch all my eye makeup and start over.

My marathon is in danger. I have not run all week. I did not run all of last week, either, recovering 2 days from my 20.2-miler and then crediting my 3 bike commutes as runs. And I sure as hell am not going to be running the coming week. So by marathon day I won't have run for 3 weeks.

It could go one of several ways:

  • I won't be well enough to run it and the whole deal's off.
  • I'll give it a shot and have my first-ever DNF.
  • I'll finish struggling and slow and be glad it's my last marathon.
  • The enforced rest will solidify my training and I'll run a blistering last marathon and go out in a blaze of glory.

This is not impossible. It's happened to me before. Illness or injury has sabotaged my last 2 weeks or month of training and then I've run an amazing marathon.

So till then I'm going to eat very well, hydrate very well, rest and sleep as much as I can, and hope for the best.

I'm glad the marathon's not tomorrow.