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You can choose your race, but not your race day

Posted by Ty Velde  April 9, 2013 09:53 PM

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100ty_velde.jpg Ty Velde is a regular contributor to Boston.com's Marathon blog.
To run or not to run, that was the question I faced Tuesday morning.

Yes, when I awoke at 5 a.m. for one of my last runs prior to race day, I heard the crackle of thunder and saw what I thought might be a flash of lightning. Then as I walked down the stairs I heard what I thought was rain, which was confirmed when I opened the door and peeked outside.

Yes, the skies around Boston on Tuesday morning were not too welcoming.

After counting off the distance between the flash in the sky and the associated thunderclap, and determining that it was safe to venture outside, I was now faced with a choice.

To run or not to run.

There was a part of me that said, “stay home and stay dry” and then there was a part of me that said, “you better go out there and take this on, because who knows what the weather may be like on race day.” Well, it was the latter that won because in short, I wanted to know that whatever waits for me on race day, I’m ready to take it on. Sure, the 7-day forecast looks great right now, but hey, the weather people are prone to mistakes … remember the snowstorm from early March anyone?

Therefore going out for my run this morning was much more than just about getting a run in. It was about building up more pre-race confidence. You see, if I had backed down it wouldn’t have been because I was tired or sore, it would have been because of the weather. Yet, when it comes to race day, this is one key element that we have absolutely no control over. As a result, when it comes to race day and weather, my motto is “be prepared for anything”.

So as I headed out the door, I knew I would be wet, but in all honesty it wasn’t raining that hard and didn’t seem all that bad. Well, that feeling lasted for all of about five minutes and soon I was stuck in the midst of a torrential downpour.

Yes, I was completely soaked.

Fortunately this only lasted for about two minutes and since it was a mild morning temperature-wise, I was still in OK shape. As I soldiered on, the downpour soon morphed into steady drizzle and then after about 20 more minutes the rain subsided. In fact, for the last five miles, there was no more rain, and I was able to just soak in the smells of a wet April spring morning in New England … very nice if I say so myself. Yes, I had run this storm out and was ultimately rewarded with a wet, but cool, morning run.

Most importantly, the run provided me with one more notch in the belt of pre-race day confidence. It just further confirmed my true state of readiness. I’m not nervous, I’m excited. I know that whatever awaits me, I am ready to take it on.

Ultimately, there few things in life that are pretty much certain … death, taxes and the fact that on the third Monday in April, that the Boston Marathon will be run. While we have all chosen to run Boston, we have no choice as to when the race will be run. This fact has been predetermined.

Therefore, in these final days leading up to race day, embrace the challenge. Embrace the fact you are ready. Most importantly, embrace the reality that come Monday, no matter what, you’ll be running the Boston Marathon!

Soaked after my morning run, but feeling the better for it.

Soaked after my morning run, but feeling the better for it.

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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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