Shiiiiiiiit I’m running a marathon in less than three days.
I still don’t believe I’ll make it there. I still don’t believe, if I do make it there, that I’ll finish. A conversation like this happened last Friday with Ben:
Me: “How many Euros do we need?”
Ben: “Not sure…let’s work out how many meals we’ll be having and go from there”.
Me: “Yeah and if I’m not going it’ll be half that.”
Understandably Ben gets frustrated with me. I get frustrated with myself. But I feel embarrassed even admitting to people I’m off to run the Paris marathon. The look of surprise (and pity) when I say my longest run has been 15 miles.
Two 11 milers, three 13.1 milers, one 15 miler…
Can I count a 17 miler and 16 miler in November…? No…damn.
But it’s all about positive thinking. Like many people have said, you can walk 26.2 miles with no major issues (just a bit tiring). It’s all about the ego really. And understanding the pacing I go out at. It’s not like a half marathon where if at 8 miles you feel a bit rough you can reassure yourself you’ll be done in five miles. If I feel rough at 8 miles I am screwed. But back to that positive thinking…
I have so many arguments prepared in my head to argue with the girl inside who starts to struggle. I have a lot of pride and will power to keep going. The only thing that will stop me finishing is if I’m in genuine pain from an injury. Otherwise, JUST KEEP RUNNING.
I know for me this is mental thing as much as a physical thing (though I’m pretty sure by mile 18 it will feel pretty much all physical 😉 To combat this I’ve got my race planned out so it doesn’t feel like one miler after another.
First ten miles (a gel somewhere at 8 miles?) I will be ‘soaking up the atmosphere’ and warming up (I like to say ‘warming up’ to convince myself 10 miles isn’t that long).
10-20 miles potentially another gel and if I fancy it, I’ll pop on a podcast.
I KNOW. I KNOW. All you running purists out there will be shaking your heads at me for doing something as sacrilege as listening to something while running a marathon around a beautiful and spectacular city race. But this is my race and I know I’m going to need every little bit of help I can get. Listening to my favourite podcast (BBC 5 Live Film Reviews) will allow my mind to stay calm, my pace to stay even and keep me from panicking. It’s not like I’m throwing a bag over my head.
20-the end (another gel at 20) – this will very much depend on how I’m feeling. If I’m feeling good and the pace is still doing OK then I will soak up the atmosphere again. If things are looking shaky and I’m struggling then I’ll pop some music on and try and hang in there.
In defence of my iPod usage…I use music for nearly all my races. I love listening to music. I see it as a race soundtrack. I can still hear the shouting and cheering but there’s something special about hearing music as I run. It flavours the race and whenever I listen to a certain song that was on during that race I get memories.
But anyway, it will all depend on the day I think. Obviously I do have some ambitions for the race BUT I am also very realistic in what I can actually achieve. These goals are nothing like my previous ones and ultimately my only true goal (that I’ll be sad if I don’t hit) is finishing. It’s my first marathon and let’s be honest my training has been pretty rubbish. This is not the end of the line, just the start of something exciting I hope!
Au revoir! See you on the other side – in one piece I hope!
For races, do you plan out your ‘game plan’ beforehand?
If you do, do you stick to it or have you been known to go ‘off piste’?
Do you listen to music when you run or work out?