Sunday, December 29, 2013

Marathon Training : Week 99 : The 20 miles that never happened

Other marathon training posts...

Last Friday was supposed to be my longest run before I tapered for two weeks leading up to my marathon. The goals was 20 miles and it just didn't happen. What happened instead was super nerves followed by anxiety attacks for two days leading up to the run. It all boiled down to this fear I have that I won't finish. That I will have spent all that time and money to go run a marathon and not earn that little medal. I was telling the boy about this and he said that even if I don't finish I've done far more than most people by now.

Really, I think that's what I need to remember.

I managed to make one 9-mile lap and about a mile into the second lap, I just couldn't. I can't run when I'm not in the mood. I need to be super focused on what I'm doing so that I can complete my goals. That just didn't happen. So I turned around and headed back to the car. When I look at all the mileage I've completed, I'm actually pretty prepared for this race, physically. I've run 18 miles a couple of times and most marathon training guides suggest that as the highest run. Tapering for three weeks before the race is not a bad decision. So, I think I'm there, physically. And now, it's all about the mental stuff.

I've decided not to take my failed 20 miler as total defeat and instead use it as a lesson on mentally preparing myself for the race to come. If I spend the next two weeks, completely in my head, riddled with anxiety, to the point that I'm unable to finish, then that's on me. So I need to spend these next two weeks really preparing myself for the mental race I'm about to run. And I need to be ok if I don't finish. I have to ask myself, is the only reason I've done this to get that one medal? Maybe that's why I started this, but I think a lot more has come out of this goal and the time I've trained for it. But I also need to relax and have the confidence that I'm physically capable of finishing this race.

So I have to remember : medals aren't everything, but my body is ready.


  1. I wouldn't worry about it. You've done several 18 milers, and have been training for quite some time now. You're right: from here on out, it's mental. There are a lot of physical aspects to it too, like training with enough mileage to lesson the damage done to the body and having enough energy to finish by eating enough calories and fueling during the race properly, but you've been doing all of that too. -The first one is always exciting and you'll never forget it! -Jessica L

    1. Well, that is very encouraging to hear! Thank you!