I am running my first marathon in just over one week! Follow my progress to the Chicago Marathon on my Maree’s 26.2 Journey Blog.

The marathon is in just over a week, and I am starting to get nervous. I know that I can run the distance, but because I am being forced to taper off my mileage, I have a lot more time on my hands to obsess about the race. My biggest concern right now is making my desired time of somewhere between 4:30:00 and 4:45:00, which I will try to achieve by staying with a Nike Pace Group. I am also thinking about my diet for the week before the race, which will basically include a lot of pasta and other carbohydrates. It is more important to ingest carbohydrates than proteins the week before the marathon, because the body needs the energy that carbohydrates provide. As far as my running schedule, I have only done a five- and a seven-mile run as well as cross training in the last week, and today I am running 12 miles. I know that I am supposed to be saving up energy for the race, but I am still going crazy with all this spare time on my hands. At least taper time has given me the opportunity to catch up on some school work!

This past week, I talked to Megan, Ashley and Chris, who are signed up to do the marathon with me. Unfortunately, Megan is not sure she can compete, since her hip and her knees are still bothering her. She said she is able to do five or six miles about three times per week, but she hasn’t done a run over 12 miles in the whole time she has been training because of her physical issues. I feel really bad for Megan, because I know that if it were me in her position, I would be dying to run, but since she has hip and knee problems, it is probably unwise for her to risk her body to run the whole 26.2 miles.

Chris and Ashley are still planning on running the race. In fact, Ashley wants to sign up for the 4:15:00 Nike Pace Group! I think she’s crazy. I don’t think I could ever finish in that amount of time. Chris said that Ashley keeps pressuring him to join that pace group as well, but he also thinks that the 4:15:00 pace would be pushing it. Chris isn’t planning on signing up for a pace group, because I don’t think he wants the pressure of finishing in a specific time. My personal goal is to finish around the same time as Chris, and if I finish ahead of him, I’ll be really proud of myself.

My final piece of preparation has been creating a “26.2 Playlist” on my iPod to listen to during the marathon. Below are samples of my top songs for the end of the race when I’m going to need the most adrenaline. I can’t wait to play them on race day!

Sleigh Bells – Crown on the Ground

Santogold – Creator

Rise Against – Audience of One

Ratatat – Lex

Lady Gaga – Bad Romance

Eminem – ‘Till I Collapse

Chiddy Bang – The Opposite of Adults

Arcade Fire – Wake Up

Let me know which song would be the best for crossing the finish line in the comments!