(FYI: This is long. I know it is. You don't have to read it all. It's more so for myself so I can remember all these little details. In case you do want to read it all, I broke it out into sections.)
Leading up to race day I had all sorts of concerns and mini-panics happening. It was supposed to be colder than planned, then there was a 50% chance of rain. I had an outfit panic. Last race I had an upset/nervous stomach for the first half, there was "what do I eat" panics. I worried about what to wear, what to eat, how much sleep to get, how much water to drink. It wasn't until Marty pointed it out to me that the last thing I was worried about was running. Which is surprising given that my final long training run went to hell fast and I only ended up actually running about 4 miles that day (and walking another 3). Marty had told me two weeks before that long run, "If you needed to, you could run this race today. But let's use the two weeks we have, okay?" I didn't believe him then. (Not believing what he was telling me happened more than once during the 9 weeks we trained for this race.)
But as race week, and then race day approached I just accepted what he had told me. The thing about his coaching is that while he tells me what he thinks I'm capable of and encourages me, it's not just being nice and blowing smoke up my ass. He uses science and math and running magic to figure out what I'm capable of, then tests it out on me over the course of 9 weeks of training, recalibrates some stuff and then boom - formula solved, here's what you CAN do. And by the time he tells me the result of the formula I acknowledge there's too much logic behind it to fight him. He's probably right. So when, the week before the race he told me he thought I'd manage a 3:05 half marathon. I was a little overwhelmed. I had finished my first half in 3:22 and that seemed like A LOT of time to shave off. But when he broke down our pacing plan, it didn't seem all that ridiculous. He reminded me of our long pacing run we planned and I accomplished and I worried less.
I'm quite certain when he said he'd be "available" during our training he was not fully prepared for the onslaught of questions I'd have leading up to race day. But, in true Marty form, he answered every question, answered most before I had even asked them, accepted my ridiculous need for every single detail to be planned out for me, and we had set up a pretty solid pre-race plan. I knew what I was going to eat and when. I knew what I was going to wear, what I needed to get to wear that I didn't already have. I felt pretty damn good. I talked to my mom on Friday night and told her at that point the only thing making me nervous was that I wasn't nervous about running. There were a couple times leading up to race day where I considered the fact that the first race could have been a fluke. I wasn't setting goals, I just needed to finish. What if the pressure would get to me? What if the idea of keeping a pace for the plan got to be too overwhelming and I couldn't finish? What if it ended up taking me longer than the first race and I had to get picked up by the bus at the end because I couldn't finish in time?! They were all ridiculous questions to be asking myself, I had trained well and responsibly, but they did creep in on a rare occasion.
I learned over the course of Friday afternoon that pre-race happy tears are apparently part of my race routine. I cried a few times over nice things Marty said, cried when I talked to my mom, and bawled when Amy said she had gotten off work to cheer me on. There were many tears but there were all happy - and not out of the ordinary for me any time there's anything where emotions are even slightly higher than usual. I went to bed on Friday night after spaghetti, a bag of skittles and a bunch of water. I woke up once at 2:00 a.m. and realized I hadn't memorized my paces planned for the three chunks of the race. I got my phone, re-read the plan and memorized it for an hour or so before I could fall back asleep. The next time I woke up was with my alarm at 4:50 to rain and lightening. Not the ideal conditions for race day. My clothes were laid out from the night before, my gear all packed up and ready. One of the animals had puked in the hall way, but I figured that was probably just sympathy nerves in support of me on race day. Cute.
I got all set, ate a small but reasonable breakfast for fuel, drank a little water and laced up my shoes. Checked 3,000 to make sure I had my race bib packed. Commiserated with friends on twitter about it being stupid early. Grabbed my bag and headed out the door. No turning back now.