Mexico City Training - Last Push

Well, this is it. Mexico City Marathon is coming up at the end of the month. I have only two and a half weeks of solid training before I travel. My training in June and July suffered because I allowed the heat to affect me, skipping workouts. But now I need to give it my all. I need to do every hill session, every speed session. No slacking. That uphill course at altitude requires my best.

This morning I met up with my Marine Corps Marathon Facebook Group buddy Jeremy at Roosevelt Island (well, in the parking lot) in Arlington VA. He was planning to run the 15 mile "Arlington Loop" which includes the Custis Trail, the W&OD Trail, the Four Mile Run Trail and the Mount Vernon Trail. I only planned to run 5 miles, but it was good motivation to get out of bed an get it done by meeting Jeremy. I knew I couldn't stick with his pace for long, and in fact I urged him to go on ahead not far into the run. I would run west on the Custis trail and turn around after 2.5 miles. I had never run this trail, and Jeremy warned me that it was hilly. That was an understatement! It was a good route for hill training, but maybe not the best route for me to run only 36 hours after doing my stair climbing workout. My calves were tight and my quads felt like lead weights. I walked more than I wanted, but I got a good workout and it was a beautiful morning for a run.

With Jeremy, ready to run from Roosevelt Island

In addition to my last couple weeks of training, I'm going to need to be at the top of my mental game to do well in Mexico City. The city itself is at the high altitude of 7,200 feet (2,200 meters), and the course has a slight uphill trend. That means I can't plan to walk up hills and run on downhills and flats. I will need to do a lot of uphill running in a setting where it will be difficult to get enough oxygen. I will need to push myself to run even when I want to walk more. I won't be able to talk myself out of doing my best, because my best will be absolutely necessary to beat the course time limit under these conditions. And then...there could be weather issues as well. Heat, rain? I don't know yet, but I can't let it deter me from my goal. I will need to prepare for race day the very best I can. Good fueling, good hydration, adequate sleep, dressed properly on race day - you name it. I'm used to being able to let some of these slide, but I can't for this race.

I am nervous about this marathon, to say the least. But I am looking forward to this trip. My only visits to Mexico have been to Cabo San Lucas and the border town outside Tucson, Arizona. Mexico's capital city has a lot of history, monuments and other sites to see. We will run past several of them on race day, ending at the Olympic Stadium. I also look forward to seeing what kind of craft beer scene they have in the city. And of course, there's the food. I'll need to brush up on my Spanish to ensure I know how to order proper vegetarian fare. I hope it's not difficult to find good food without meat or meat essenses. I should probably do some research ahead of time.

Wish me luck as I finalize my preparations. This is one of those times when I'll need all my friends' support from afar. Muchas gracias!


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