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A runner's diary: Don't let last-minute jitters jam you up

Runner Dave Emilio on the boardwalk in the Beach in Toronto. He's preparing for this fall's Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

Fred Lum/Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Dave Emilio is documenting his training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on Oct. 16.

It doesn't matter if you are a first timer or if it's your 25th marathon, as this is for me – you get antsy when race day is only a week away. There is a certain amount of anxiousness in the buildup to the event. It is hard to decipher whether it is confident excitement or second-guessing doubt. You just have to embrace it and go on with your day. It will eat you up if you let it.

I am feeling surprisingly great this week. My Achilles tendon is better (or at least it's not getting worse). Overall, I'm pleased with my training. To be sure, there's room for improvement and aspects where I could improve. It seems I will always struggle with getting enough rest and eating healthfully. (Maybe next time around I should consider hiring a personal coach.)

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These final days will be spent prepping the little things like planning what to wear, what to eat and how to spend my downtime. These details are not to be taken lightly; they can make or break a race. With only a few runs left, it's just a matter of staying relaxed, sleeping as much as I can and staying off my feet as much as possible. Other than having to attend my son's hockey game the day before, I plan to just hang out at home, legs up, watching a few inspirational movies (my favourite running movie is the 2007 documentary Spirit of the Marathon). And, of course, enjoying the pre-race carbo-loading meals.

On the morning of, I'll get up early and have my typical race-day breakfast of scrambled eggs, toast and oatmeal. I'll start to think about the fully loaded burger I'll have for lunch – my postrace ritual. And then head to the starting line. See you there.

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