A Good Shakeout

Marathon week is always full of potential pitfalls.

It helps to eliminate all of the distractions, even if it means putting life on hold for a few days. Managing emotions, stress and energy levels can make or break months of training.

Several dozen runners met for a regular Tuesday night group run.

My plan was to do a short simulation workout, heading out at race pace and practice a few tactics to brush up for Saturday morning. The run started a little shaky, but after 1 1/2 miles, my breathing settled down and my legs found their rhythm. It turns out that this shakeout run left me feeling better and more confident.

Every training block is different, and this one certainly posed significant challenges. But I did complete several long training runs, peppered with some hills, that hopefully can offset erratic weeks of mileage.

After Tuesday night’s run, a few friends asked me about Saturday’s marathon, and at this point, all I can really do is try wrapping my head around it — steeling my mind to the accept pain brought on by the marathon and embracing the experience. If you do it right, no endurance race is easy.

Without question, though, Saturday’s race will most certainly make me stronger — and that much more prepared for Grandma’s Marathon in a month. Unfortunately, I had to bow out of next month’s Utah Valley Marathon — which falls a week before Grandma’s — but that race is certainly in my plans for next year.

As for this week, the Fargo Marathon closes its 5K online registration today (runners can still sign up in person after today) and expo opens on Thursday.

The weather forecast for race day has changed virtually every day for the past 10 days, so it’s anybody’s guess what Saturday will bring. Most likely, though, it will be cool — ideal for most runners but it’s a guessing game with the rain. The best bet for runners will be to bring a couple layering options and adjust to the conditions, either stuffing extra layers into their drop bag before the race or shedding a layer along the course.

Keep tabs on The Forum’s race coverage and for those hoping to track runners on Saturday, there are separate links for each of the races. Just click on one of the following links and enter the info for the people you want to track: MarathonHalf Marathon10K.