I still have wiggle room. If the foot misbehaves a few days before the race in a way that doesnt bode well for a spin of 26 miles, then I can cancel my hotel reservation and only be out the race registration fee.
Its appropriate that my first marathon in nearly 19 years be in the Pacific Northwest. All of the 7 marathons I ran between 1986 and 1990 were either in Seattle (where I lived) or Vancouver, B.C.
My very first marathon in 1986 I refer to jokingly as the 20-mile run & 10K walk.
I was in good form but about 6 weeks before the race I suffered an overtraining injury that quite likely was a stress fracture. I stopped training altogether until a day or two before the event and then only ran a few miles. On race day I ran well for the first 15 miles and then started hurting pretty badly. The next 5 miles were very painful, and the remaining 6 miles were a crabby, excruciating shuffle-walk to the finish.
It took months to get over that. When I began running again it was for short distances and very slowly. But come back I did, and stronger than before.
A year after the 20 mile run & 10K walk I ran (entirely) the Seattle Marathons 26.2 miles and it went well. It would be the first of six marathons for me, all of which I finished under 3 hours.
Now, almost 19 years after my last marathon, my goals for the Eugene Marathon are simply to complete the distance and enjoy the event.
But thats putting the cart before the horse, isn’t it? First I have to get through my training program with a well behaved left foot.