In less than 2 weeks I’ll be running the Big Sur marathon. I’ve done the long runs, done the hills, strength trained and done what I can to be prepared. At this point it’s all about the taper and most importantly, mental prep.
Having done 7 marathons, a lot of half marathons as well as hundreds of training miles over the past 11 years I know what running a marathon feels like physically. It feels good, it feels bad, it feels good again then it feels really bad and then you’re done. Cry, limp, get a medal, get a space blanket, eat a banana, and feel like you literally could do anything. Then you feel like you want to either throw up or curl up in a ball and sleep!
The mental part of the marathon is my Achilles heel. While I can train my body it’s my mind that gets in the way. Too fast, too slow, what’s that pain, do I have to go to the bathroom, it’s too hot, too cold, why did I ever think I could do this? And that’s only at mile 5! In order to get over my feeling of inadequacies and dread I need to run through the race in my head a few dozen times. I think about how I’ll feel at mile 20 and what I can do to get to mile 26.2. Sometimes I put myself in a good situation where things are great and then move to a situation where the wheels come off – just so I can plan how to deal with it. Mostly though, I just think about running and how to keep running and how great I will feel when I accomplish marathon #8.
Plus when I’m done I’ll get a fancy new space blanket. They are all the rage!
Now go run!