Today is my last day of my 11 day vacation. Boo. Hoo. Seriously, I could have another few weeks off and be perfectly content… I didn’t check off as much as I wanted to on my to do list! Ah, well, such is life.

I did a short six miler this morning because it’s taper phase. I have a love-hate relationship with taper phase. I love it because it means marathon day is right around the corner. And, usually by this time, my body is so exhausted the idea of having a long run of eight miles sounds like heaven. I hate taper phase because I have so much pent up energy from not running a lot and it drives me nuts… and I just feel so lazy by not running a lot for a few weeks.

I still can’t believe that the Houston Marathon is less than two weeks away! It is always incredible when race day comes because you’ve been training so hard for this day and thinking about this day for so long. And in a matter of hours, its over.

Of course, it’s always frustrating when marathon day comes and it is not the race that you were looking for. When I ran Twin Cities in 2007, this happened. I was hoping to qualify for Boston, and instead, I finished slower than the year before. It was so disappointing, especially after spending months training for the race. I learned a big lesson from this race.

I learned that the number one thing you have to do when you go into a race, no matter what it is or how longed your trained for, is you have to have fun. That way, even if you don’t meet the goals that you set for yourself, you can at least tell yourself that you enjoyed the race.

This helped me a great deal when I ran Chicago last October. The weather wasn’t going to be the best (hot, I run best in cooler temps) which meant it wasn’t going to be the race that I dreamt about. By going into it trying to just have fun, and not worrying about my time goals, I probably finished better than if I would have tried to get my goal time… that would have just made me frustrated a few miles in and would have ruined the run. Besides, isn’t the whole reason behind why we run is because it’s something we enjoy?

Do you have a mantra for race day? Do you try to focus on having fun? 

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