Wrapping up Marathon Training

Just like that, marathon training has come to an end. For twenty weeks I’ve been training for this race. For two and half years I’ve been dreaming about crossing the finish line with 26.2 miles behind me. And now it is just about over. I’m feeling sad about this chapter of my life coming to an end this evening. I have heard all the clichés about marathon running, but now I understand them all.

The marathon is the cherry on top: True.

It’s really about the journey of getting to race day: True

Yesterday I completed my last long run before race day. Eight miles. Those eight miles taught me so much about where I need to be mentally on race day. They also taught me much more about where I needed to be with my running. When my watched beeped for mile 1, I looked down and saw my pace. 9:13. Oh dear, I went out too fast. I told myself it would be good practice for race day. Although I am normally really good at starting slow on my runs, race day excitement can get the best of me. I could start fast. I need to know how to recover during a run in case I do. I told myself to slow down and get comfortable.

Mile 2. 9:19. Not slow enough. Slow down. Mile 3. 9:27. Much better. Now just hang on.

Mile three wasn’t a great mile. It felt very forced. My legs couldn’t find a natural stride. So I decided to quit focusing on slowing down, and I instead focused on finding comfort in my legs.

Mile 4. 9:20. Mile 5. 9:17. Mile 6. 9:17. Hmm. Maybe I can still finish faster than I started. Mile 7. 9:16. Mile 8. 8:59.

8.07 miles in 1:14:42 (9:16 pace)

As I drove home from my run, I realized I am capable of so much more than I give myself credit for. I knew I could run 8 miles that fast, I just didn’t think I was there yet. I have some future running goals for post marathon running. A sub 25 minute 5k and a sub 2 hour half marathon are on that list. I thought they were still out of reach. They are really closer than I realize. I know I haven’t come close to finding my potential with running just yet. This run helped peel off another layer of self-doubt. What great timing for shedding layers of doubt. It’s funny how we create our own truths. I have/had myself convinced that I’m not a faster runner anymore. My days of fast running were hidden in high school before my legs held titanium rods and screws. Those fast days existed before babies. I’m on a mission to create a new truth for myself.

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Six days and a walk-up until race day. I’m stalking the weather and over analyzing every thing I can control about race day. I’m making goals and not making goals. Stay tuned for more. My brain is officially consumed by marathon thoughts.

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