With no more quality workouts (except the Run to Feed the Hungry) to worry about, I am quickly building a list of things to obsess upon as the countdown begins:
Swine flu. This is the big one, of course. I am not worrying about dying from it, just being weakened to the point that all my prep for CIM becomes worthless. The flu is everywhere, and if you get it now you are pretty much done as far as CIM goes. You'll be out of action for a week and still not back to strength by race day. On Monday I took a business trip to Southern California. How many people on that plane were carrying the bug? Then the guy who picked me up at the airport announced that he had missed the past week of work because he had "the flu." I didn't have to ask which flu. But I was thinking about it for the rest of the day. He wasn't infectious, but still...
That bad cold. If not the flu, the good old fashioned common cold, or that bad chest thing that is going around, will surely fell me. My younger son got home late last night from college in Santa Barbara and brought the death rattle with him. He was hacking all night. I need both lungs healthy on Dec. 6. I would rather not be coughing up one of them in the meantime.
My weight. It's very hard to control your appetite after eating everything in sight for months. I have already gained two pounds and we haven't even set the Thanksgiving table yet. Geez.
The knot in my calf. I tweaked something in my calf on my last long marathon pace run on Sunday. Yes, it is is getting better. But I can still feel it lurking in there. I don't need any nagging injuries troubling me at the starting line, let alone at mile 20, when they could turn from irritating to disabling.
The weather. Even if I dodge the flu and the cold and my calf gets better and I avoid ballooning up this weekend, what if we get a big storm on race day? The early forecast suggests we might be in line for some subtropical moisture next week, and high winds. In other words: a Monsoon!
Mile 20. At my first marathon in 2007 I was cruising along at just ahead of my goal pace through about 18 or 19 miles. And while I made it to mile 20 at the pace I was hoping for, by then I knew i was done. I could feel the legs getting heavier and harder to move. I wasn't going to make it. Who knows if this time will be different? The doubt will hang over me at least until I hit J Street, and maybe all the way to Alhambra Blvd.
Have I missed something?