Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Marathon: My thoughts on Round 2!

This past weekend we had our final "long run" followed by our Runner's High end of training breakfast. Prior to Saturday, I wasn't feeling too nervous or anxious about the marathon, but hearing all the words of advice from our coaches really made me realize " crap! I'm running a marathon in a week!" We'll now it's less than a week y'all! Four more days! Last year, I wrote about my thoughts before my first marathon. I re-read them and clearly my analytical brain was in full force and my nervous anxiety kicked in because I wrote about marathon fun facts. Don't get me wrong, they're cool and interesting, but so much more was going through my head. Today I'll dig a bit deeper and share how I felt during training and how I'm now feeling about my second marathon.




This time around I've had mixed feelings about the race. This is my chance to share my open and honest feelings, so these are some thoughts that were initially rushing through my mind the past few months. 

I feel like I'm slower this year. Despite conquering a new half marathon PR in September {my previous PR was in 2011!}, I feel like I'm slower in my training runs. I struggled a lot at the beginning of training in the nasty humidity. More so than last year. I also was very sick back in November and missed 3 long runs! I'll admit I did come back strong from that though. Maybe I'm just running my long training runs at the proper speed and this means I'll pick up the pace come race day? We'll see... 

I felt too much pressure to hit the sub 4:00 mark. Last year I finished in 4:01:51. That01:51 has haunted me for a year! What could I have done to go faster? I know I didn't need to walk there. Why couldn't I just keep it up those last two miles? Those thoughts and many more race through my brain making me crazy. I want so badly to finish under four hours, but is the pressure worth the stress and anxiety? No it's not. So while I would love to see that 3:59:59 or less, I'm not going to beat myself up over it if I don't. Why? Because I ran another marathon, something that many people will NEVER do or even dream of attempting.

I doubted myself. On several different occasions I considered switching down to the half marathon; when I got sick, when I felt too much pressure and when I wasn't sure if my body could handle it. I think in the end, it all comes down to the pressure I put on myself to finish sub four hours.

I didn't want to let my friends down. I have some of the best running buddies turned amazing friends that a girl could ask for. I didn't want to let them down or make them feel like they had to run with me or stick with me if they felt good. I'm going to continue to reinforce that on race day, but I'm hoping that mentally I can hang in there!




Now don't think that these honest feelings are weighing me down. I strive to be a positive person and I've managed to push those thoughts and fears out of my head. Four days out I'm beyond excited, super nervous, very prepared and mentally strong. Here's how I'm feeling now...

I know what's coming. This year, I know the mental toughness this is going to take. I have done this before and I can do it again! I know that those doubts I had a few months ago listed above need to be cleared from my head. Don't worry, they are. I know that 13.1 miles is NOT the halfway point. I know that the last 3 miles of hilly underpasses is going to be miserable, but I must push through.

The weather is looking great. Right now the forecast has a Saturday overnight low of 46 degrees and the Sunday high is 69. If it stays like this, the race should start in the upper 40's and end in the mid-upper 50's and sunshine! Cross your fingers it stays this way. I don't need another marathon in the freezing rain!

I'm doing this for me and no one else. I don't need to impress anyone. I don't need to prove myself. I don't need to think that not getting a new PR isn't good enough. Running is for me. I run for me. I am good enough. Finishing a marathon is good enough. I'm about to run another 26.2 miles. When I do, I will cross the finish line feeling on top of the world no matter what time my Garmin reads. I've totally got this.

I'm ready. Really ready this time. Here are my goals:

A Goal: Finish a sub 4:00 marathon!!!!
B Goal: Finish under 4:10
C Goal: Finish under 4:30 {Just incase the temps rise or humidity comes into play! I don't want to push my lungs too far!}
Most Important Goal: Run a strong race mentally! I don't want to let my head get me down like it did back in October/November.

I'm running a marathon in 4 days y'all and I couldn't be more pumped about it!




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