As I have stated before, this will be my first full marathon and from what I have heard from all of my friends that have run a marathon, the biggest challenge will be the mental game. I think back to September 2007, when I ran my first half marathon (Disneyland) and what I felt before that race. I was nervous, excited and unsure how my body and mind would react to the distance. I was under-trained, under-prepared and went into it with a bit of an ego thinking I would run my first race in 2:30...boy was I wrong. I hit the wall...no, I splattered against the wall at mile 10 and struggled to get through the rest of the race. I finished in 2:41:31 and felt horrible, in fact, I didn't run again for several months. All I know, is that I don't want that to happen this time.
So how do I prevent that from happening? I think the best way to approach the race is to first, get rid of the ego and time goal. My goal is to just finish the race...upright and not requiring a ride in the "big, red, limousine". At one time, I thought that 4.5 hour time goal was within reach, but given the severity of my injury 2 months ago and I missed training for 3 weeks, I have had to for go any time goal at all. I need to break the race down into much smaller, more manageable segments. I will break it down in 10K increments, since that is a comfortable distance for me and I run a 10K route in training, I can imagine that run in my mind. I have to start slow and pace myself, I am running 26.2 miles, not a 5 or 10K race. I must not get sucked into the crowd at the start, I need to pick a pace and stick with it.
Once I get to mile 20, that is where things will get challenging since I have never run more than 20 miles and I will be entering uncharted territory. If I stay focused and look at it as the final 10K, I think everything will be OK. Dont get me wrong...this will be a challenge, one of the biggest in my life, but if I stick with the game plan and stay focused, I will cross the finish line!
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