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Final two weeks most challenging

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff  April 5, 2012 03:51 PM

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100tara_bennett.jpg Tara Bennett is one of five Boston Marathon entrants testing the Polar RCX5 personal training computer and blogging about it for Boston.com
I always find the final two weeks before I run a marathon the most challenging because of the excessive number of thoughts and feelings running through my head. This year has been no different.

Questions like, “Did I train enough?” “Did I train hard enough?” “What’s the weather going to be like?” or “What clothes will I wear?” – simple questions, but still, I find them to be wasted energy. So for me the battle is not as much on the road as it is with my mental preparation because I know I had a good training season.

My runs over the past week have been met with Mother Nature reminding all of us that winter is still around as well as the demands of my job at this time of year. Also, I caught a spring cold, which left me congested and coughing during my runs and workouts.

This past Sunday, the Polar RCX5 provided a unique insight into the impact health can have on training. When I began to climb the first of many hills on Sunday, I could feel that my body was working harder than normal and my head was ringing. This additional effort was validated by the Polar RCX5, which showed my heart had rate soared to the upper 150s even though my pace was not intense. With each step, the thought of “Why am I doing this?” crept into my head, but was closely followed by the reminder that marathon day will be no easier, so “suck it up” and just do it.

What I really enjoyed this past week was having my monitor to validate my effort – it’s my personal guide and supporter. I would have loved to have had access to the Polar equipment for my entire training period; the instant feedback and the level of data available is amazing, sometimes even overwhelming – but in a good way.

I am in final preparation mode with rest being my number one priority. I re-read the marathon booklet front to back, determined that Friday is number pick up day, am securing how to get to the start line, and believing the weather will be in the 40s with no precipitation. I am still learning how to use the Polar accessories we received and learned a new trick after reading Robin’s post.

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Look for updates, news, analysis and commentary from the following.
  • Steve Silva, Boston.com senior producer, two-time Boston Marathon sub-four hour runner.
  • Ty Velde is a 16-time Boston qualifier who's completed 12 consecutive Boston Marathons and 25 marathons overall. Ty is now training for his 13th Boston run and will provide training tips for those who train solo and outside, no matter what temperature it is.
  • Rich 'Shifter' Horgan is a 19-time Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team member who runs in honor of his father, who died of colon cancer. He will provide updates on local running events with a focus on the charitable organizations that provide Boston Marathon entries for their organization's fund raising purposes

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