I CAN DO this!! 26 days until the Victoria marathon
Wow! The days are really flying by now, and so are the training miles. My 16.3 mile run last weekend went as well as I could have hoped. I ran it nearly non-stop and at a comfortable pace, finishing in “well under three hours” exactly as planned. The miles just kept ticking by, surprising me once or twice with how quickly they’d pass. I was very much in a flow state, just rolling along feeling strong. I could have run another few miles, but I prudently stuck to my plan.
The only thing I didn’t do as planned was nutrition. I was supposed to practice eating and drinking at regular intervals during my run, but I simply wasn’t hungry out there. On a cool day it’s not that difficult to do double-digit milage on nothing but a few sips of water. I finally made myself eat some pretzels at 15 miles, but I know I’ll need to eat more than that if I’m going to be out there for 26.2 miles and nearly five hours.
This Sunday is the biggie — 21 miles! I’ve had the date on my calendar for months. There will be no postponements and no excuses. My two planned runs between now and Sunday are of the “short and easy” variety. Meanwhile, I’m trying to eat well, get plenty of sleep, and in general treat this week as a dress rehearsal for race week.
I think this will be my first and last marathon — at least the last one for the next few years. It would be fun to win my age group when I’m 80. When I signed up for this, I didn’t appreciate (couldn’t possibly know) how much more of a physical, mental, and time commitment training for a full marathon is, compared to a half marathon. I’ll be honest and confess that I will welcome a much reduced running schedule after October 13 and heading into the winter months.
I’m not saying that I regret the decision to tackle this distance — not at all! I have grown so much as a runner: gained strength, resilience, and discipline that I never dreamed could be mine to claim. In the future it will seem much easier to train for and run a “mere” half marathon, while still having time and energy to hike, bike, brew, travel, and write!
I think I’ll do a trail half marathon sometime next spring. That would be a new kind of race for me, one in which I could be really slow and still set a personal record. :-)
But for now, I’m totally focused on the last few weeks before this race. Now it’s all about staying strong and injury-free, nailing the remaining training runs, and — on race day — arriving at the start and finish lines healthy and happy.
One step at a time!