About 12 more hours to go until the St. Louis Marathon. Lots of rest and no running the past few days. I don't watch what I eat that carefully, but do plan to have pasta for dinner. There will be only about 3,000 participants for the full marathon, compared to about 15,000 for the half-marathon. If I live in St. Louis, I probably would go for the half, but since I flew here, after all that troubles with security checkpoint, might as well go for the full.
This will be my third marathon ever. The last time I ran the marathon was in 1995, with the year before that being my first marathon. Both times it was the New York City Marathon, back then sponsored by Chemical Bank, I think. It was somewhat easier to enter back then. For 1994, I got selected in the first lottery. The second time around, I didn't get selected and was on the waiting list. I pretty much gave up but then I got selected from the waiting list, so I ran. There was no fee to enter the lottery and the registration was something like $30 or so, a bargain compared to today's fee. If you have the time, you can even go wait on line, in person, and get a paper application that gives you guaranteed entry. The others that enter the lottery would request the form via USPS mail and send it back.
Sixteen years later, of course sixteen years older, I actually think I am more prepared than the younger me. While it is true that I was single, even unemployed, so naturally I had more time to train, I didn't train that much. I was living in Long Island City and would only run to Astoria Park, put in at most 3 miles around track under the Triboro Bridge, have lunch on a bench somewhere then walked back home. At most I ran 5 miles a day and did not enter any official races to gauge my speed. These days I do long runs on weekends and participated in NYRR-sponsored events. I am shooting for a 5-hour finish time, or 5.5 hours top. We will find out in about 12 hours!