I just finished my last training run for the Vermont City Marathon! 3.65 miles cruising around the neighborhood, two miles at race pace, because, sheesh, I couldn’t help it. It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything here and I’m behind two race reports, Middletown Half and Broad Street. Three if you count the lead-up to the postponed Middletown race. But, I have been busy reading 3 dissertations for prizes, 54 job applications, and countless student papers. Now the semester is finally behind me and it’s almost marathon day. Two days until Vermont City!
Fate has thrown two big wrinkles at me this week. After a fantastic training cycle, my partner-in-crime, Teacher Runner, came down with an injury just 10 days ahead of race day. As of this morning, the decision is final. She’s not going to Vermont. We ran every step of the Philadelphia Marathon side-by-side last fall and we’ve done nearly every training run together. To say I will miss her would be an understatement. It’s not like leaving my legs behind, but maybe a big chunk of my heart. But I would miss her much more if she ran and made things worse and had to sit out the whole summer. I’m so glad she’s playing it smart and sitting this one out.
I love running with this woman so damn much. She got faster than me this training cycle and she deserves to go kick ass in Vermont. But marathoning is a little like gambling and you never quite know what is coming.
The second wrinkle is the weather. After an unseasonably cool spring, the weather has suddenly turned unreasonably hot. Race day temperatures are expected to be warmer than ideal. The marathon organizers are providing extra water stops and ice and we runners are going to have to do our best to run smart and stay safe.
Without Teacher Runner I will probably listen to music for most of the race. I thought I would be the kind of runner who talks to people during races, but it turns out, I’m not. I like company and I love running next to friends, but when I’m racing, I’m pretty focused and not much interested in conversation. I’m working on a marathon play list and during this last training run, I was listening to some of it and a sort of race mantra or theme came to me. Power and Joy. Joy and Power. Powerful Joy. Joyful Power. That’s what I’m looking for Sunday morning in Burlington. Here are the songs so far:
Vermont City Marathon Play List
A Beautiful Day – India.Arie: The final number in the kids’ dance recital this year. Performed by the top high school dancers at the studio, this song took my breath away and I knew I wanted it first on my play list immediately.
Work This Body – Walk the Moon: I found this through Rock My Run a few months ago and then forgot about it.
“And I will work this body I will burn this flame
Oh in the dead of night, and in the pouring rain”
Yeah. What runner can’t relate to that, right?
It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls: An oldie but goody. Suggested by a few people in the Sub 30 Club, this song always reminds me of my mom, for some reason. Can’t be sad when it’s raining men!
What Does the Fox Say? – Ylvis: Ok, everyone knows this song, but only the brilliant Therese would think to run to it. So much yes.
Crazy Bitch – Buckcherry: A couple of the women in my group “Fast Women Running Spring Marathons” came up with this selection. This one’s all yours, crazy bitches.
Let It Grow (Celebrate the World ) – Esther Dean: Rose’s class sang this for the spring concert and again I knew immediately I had to run to it. She caught me crying “tears of joy” but she knows those tears are good, not bad.
There are more songs on the list, but still lots of race prep to do so going to leave it that for now. How do you use music in your running? Do you ever give a race a theme? What songs bring you joyful power or powerful joy?