Armed with the turn by turn directions and a map, my dad and I took to driving the Buffalo Marathon course. The entire first half of the course had changed this week due to construction on Ohio Street which, quite frankly, seems to have been going on forever.
The original route took several loops along waterfront developments then out to Tift and back into downtown before looping up to North Buffalo.
The revised route takes runners out Niagara Street, through LaSalle Park and the Erie Basin Marina then out behind HSBC Arena.
And the, quite frankly, it gets a little ugly.
The route meanders through areas that were once part of Buffalo's proud industrial past, which while still a source of pride isn't exactly the most inspiring scenery. As my dad and I slowly drove along the route making each turn we realized that the new course pretty much hits every single overpass in South Bufffalo. Not exactly flat and fast.
But not it's exactly Chestnut Ridge Park with Sue, either. Or the Rochester Cats half marathon. Or running uphill in the mountains of North Carolina with Scott.
Will those first 13.1 miles be a bit challenging? Possibly. But it's nothing compared with what I've trained on. Something which will no doubt be scrawled across my hand in big, black Sharpie letters on Sunday morning.
The game plan on Sunday is simple: Eat my usual race-morning breakfast, talk to as few people as possible once at the race so as not to let other people's freak outs become my own, run the first mile at easy pace then hit my marathon pace. I will take a gel (or in this case a Clif Shot Block) every 15-20 minutes and I will never pass up an aid station, probably opting for water since I'll be popping electorlytes with the shot block.
And that's it.
The outcome on Sunday is based on two things: preparation and execution.
As long as I continue to rest, hydrate and eat well the next few days, my preparation is good.
Now all that is left is to stick to the plan, and know that I have a wealth of experience to formulate Plan Bs on the fly should I need to.
Because the most important part of the day will be the smile on face when I get to that finish line.