8 Weeks Until the Starting Line

Exactly eight weeks from tomorrow….. 

I will be at the starting line, awaiting the sound of the starting gun of my 5th 26.2 mile journey – the 2013 Anthem Richmond Marathon. 

One of my top priorities for Richmond Marathon (I was planning on Philadelphia Marathon, but, had to cancel due to a conflict that weekend- more on that later), is to run relaxed so I can enjoy the miles more, instead of counting the miles. Last fall, at Chicago Marathon, I just felt frazzled.. Even the day before, I wasn’t relaxed. I was nervous about how my body was going to react, and, my legs were already drained from walking around the city too much the day before. Most importantly, I ate dinner too late the night before, and went to bed in a rush. This time, I must not make those same mistakes again.

Here I am with 8 weeks until the starting line…. My weekly mileage is pretty much where I want it to be. I did a solid 20 mile long run 2 weeks ago, and an 18 mile long run 3 weeks ago. Tomorrow will be a drop back LR- 14 miles. Next week, I’ll be doing my second 20 mile LR, as well as marking the end of a 5 week endurance cycle. After that, I’ll have 4 weeks before my last 3 weeks of training. 3 weeks out, marks the beginning of my taper, and, a point in which the “real” training is done. This is a time to maintain and clear my head. That is, clear my head of doubts, negative thoughts, and fear.

While I may have uncertainty, I don’t want to have fear.

When the mind is in a state of fear, it tells the body to hold back, as a protective mechanism. The mind does not want to allow harm to the body. However, if the mind tells the body “you’re strong, you got this”, the body is capable of performing in ways the mind never thought possible. Almost any marathoner will agree… those last 6.2 miles during the marathon, the body often wants to call it quits.. It’s the mind that must keep pushing the body. {Unless of course, the body is truly in need of medical attention. Safety first, folks!}

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I had to do last weekend’s run on Monday (conflicts during the weekend). 12 miles at “marathon pace” + a 2 mile cool down.

mile 1: 7:52

mile 2: 7:40

mile 3: 7:43

mile 4: 7:38

mile 5: 7:54

mile 6: 7:48

mile 7: 7:46

mile 8: 7:49

mile 9: 7:42

mile 10: 7:46

mile 11: 7:47

mile 12: 7:34

(Avg. 7:46/mi.)

At the end of this run, I thought to myself.. “Am I realistic about this pace for 26.2 miles?” Is it realistic for the race course? Right now, I will admit… I’m just not sure. It may, or, it may not be.. I’m just very relieved that I still have a bit more paced runs, and long runs, to figure it out.

Are you running Richmond Marathon? Are you training for a fall race? Are you having any fears?