13 days until the Asics LA Marathon. For many this March 17 marathon is the first step of the LA/SF Challenge. The final weeks going into a marathon can be filled with both excitement and anxiety. For me as I approach my 12th marathon, the feeling of excitement is the same or in fact for this time around I am more excited to toe the line than ever. Going into the final week of training before a taper week our minds can start to play interesting games with us. We begin to wonder things like: Is my goal achievable? Did I do everything I had to? I hope that I am able to run as well as I have been training.

One thing that I have learned through the course of training and running especially since my last marathon experience in December, 2012 at the California International Marathon is that we can only worry or put our energy into things that we can control. Back in December, I worried so much about the weather conditions in Sacramento that I lost complete focus of the weeks of training I had put into preparing for the 26.2-mile event. The torrential downpour and strong winds that tested the runners the morning of the race, was in fact something I couldn’t control, yet gave me a lot to worry about taking away from the energy I could have put into something else that I could have benefited me in the race.

Over the last 12 weeks I have logged the miles, I have started looking at the course map. I have prepared myself as much as I could from a training standpoint. Now with 13 days remaining, there are a number of items that I can continue to focus on rather than letting my mind wonder, turning my excitement into anxiety. The next couple of weeks will involve making sure that I am well rested, getting quality sleep going into the race will be crucial. Another point I will focus on is making sure that I do not try any new foods or hydration beverages during this window as to not take any chances with stomach issues. Making sure that my gear is all set is another point of focus, making sure that whatever I am going to be running in or with on race day will not come apart on me or cause me come apart. Lastly, my next 12 workouts I will run as scheduled, keeping in mind that I am preparing for March 17 not anything else until then.

There are 11 of The San Francisco Marathon Ambassadors running the Asics LA Marathon. Will you be joining us? There are only 250 spots remaining. If you are going to be at the Asics LA Marathon, make sure to follow us on Twitter and find us at the expo or on race day! We love meeting new people and making new running friends.

What are some key things you focus on going into a marathon or big race? How do you remove prerace jitters?