Saturday, 8 October 2011


This is really happening, then. 4 hours left. My nostrils are snot-free, my stomach is calm (apart from the obligatory pre-race butterflies) and my thigh muscle is...hey, look, a Dodo!

I can do it. I can't do it. If I just concentrate on my music, I'll make it. Oh crap, I haven't done any long runs since the beginning of September. But if I just want it bad enough, I can make it happen. But what if I have to drop out? Yes I can. No I can't. Yes-I-CAN.

Allowing doubt to enter my head is the worst possible thing to do right now. Objectively speaking, my preparations could have been better. It's too late for that now, though. What I do have now is my brain. The brain that has got me through much tougher challenges, and in much tougher conditions. The brain that has helped me to keep my cool, the one that has spotted out curse words in my face, military style, to keep me going. The brain that needs this medal and the disillusionment it brings so badly, in order to move my limits a bit further.

I'm spreading my wings, but will I fly?
My mental strategy is to ignore the first half marathon. I've done the distance a million times before, I know I can do it. The race starts afterwards. Seeing as I have to run up and down the same stretch of cycle path 4 times, it will be the third time around that's going to pose the biggest problems, I believe. Leaving the stadium while a lot of half-marathoners are crossing the finish line, and probably being, if not the last, then among the last people to turn away is going to be emotionally taxing. Knowing that I have 2 more hours of running ahead of me, alone. So, I will try to draw my strength from the fact that I feel safe even with kilometres 20 to 30. Try to pretend that I haven't just run a half marathon.

After about 30 km, I will hopefully be on my way back. The notorious wall will be looming. Now I will have to focus on the fact that I'm running the last part. Eat, drink. Try to trick myself into believing that 10 km – I can do that in my sleep. Even though I don't usually do it after I've run 30 km. Remember that I've done the marathon distance twice before, in training. Ultra-style, but still.

And, throughout the race, my most powerful weapon will be visualisation. Seeing the moment I cross the finish line in my mind, the moment I throw my arms around J with the medal around my neck, my happiness, my relief, the big smile on my face. The day after, when I can call myself a marathoner.

Yes, I think I can.

1 comment:

  1. Babe! You ARE à marathonrunner and There's no time like the first time so ENJOY and I'm with ya in spirit when it gets tough!!!!!