The Hay is in the Barn
“The hay is in the barn” is a term that I first came across a while back on one of my favorite podcasts, The Age Grouper triathlon podcast, and I had a friend make this comment on a 17 mile run I did a few weeks ago. It has really stuck with me during my Chicago Marathon training. The gist of the saying is that all the hard work and training is done and now it’s time to race.
I’ll be running my 4th marathon and my 2nd Chicago Marathon this coming Sunday. My previous marathon times are 4:34 (Chicago 2009), 4:01:26 (Memphis 2010) and 4:05:54 (Carlsbad, CA 2011). In my last two attempts I’ve missed going sub-4 hours by a total of 7 and a half minutes. My goal on Sunday is 3:50. I KNOW I can do sub-4, so I’m going to push it a little and see what happens. I’ve trained for this pace and I’ve run faster than ever this Summer… the hay is in the barn.
This Summer I decided to really focus on getting a sub-4 hour marathon off my back. No triathlons during training this time. This time the focus would solely be on running. In the process I’ve knocked out some PRs and even placed in a few races. I ran a 20:52 5K on a tough course to get 2nd in my age group and also ran a 46:06 10K to win my age group and come in 2nd overall (yeah, it was a small race, but 2nd OVERALL is amazing for me!). It’s been a great Summer of running.
I’ve been in taper mode for the past 2 weeks and have one week to go. It’s tough during a taper to just relax and remember that all the work is done and to trust in the training and come race day I’ll be ready to go. Last week I had a bad 17 mile run and it crept into my mind, how I’ll be able to do 26.2 running faster. But I have to remember that those 17 miles were coming off the peak of my training and I SHOULD be tired. If I wasn’t then my training might’ve been lacking. I have to trust in my training and rely on the taper to let me recover and be able to knock off 26.2 in 3:50.
I’ve been at this for 10 weeks, I’ve run over 420 miles, the hard work is done… the hay is in the barn.