This past Sunday I finished the peak of my marathon training. The last long run was a new distance record for me at a total of 32 kilometers. When I finished the run I immediately thought of a book I recently read which had a character who just started running. Her thoughts on marathoners rang true in my head.
It was a very chilly morning and I endured high winds and LOTS of rain, but when it finally cleared up I was able to enjoy some beautiful views along my route.
I would say the run went well despite the wet and cold weather. I didn’t experience any real fatigue until the last 6K which is when my hip flexors started feeling tight and my feet were getting sore. This was the second distance PR for me in as many weeks and that was definitely something which kept me going.
So with the final long run complete, the hardest part is done right?
Not so much.
Even though the long runs are finished until race day, I now enter a period known as “tapering.” This means I still have runs to complete, but the mileage is much lower per week so my body can recover and get tuned up for the big day.
The hardest part for me in prep for race day is to keep my head straight and not let anxiety run high. I’m a worrier, it’s a trait I get from my mother (thanks, Mom!), and so I will overthink every.little.thing. and get my stomach in knots over it.
Any runner I’ve come across has referred to tapering as being very difficult. Anticipating such a long run, yet doing shorter runs for 3 weeks beforehand can make you feel unsettled. It’s for the better, which I have to remind myself of. My body needs the rest and hopefully that leads to a smooth(er) run on October 16th.
When I look back at my injury from July and see that only 9 weeks ago I was cleared to run, it’s pretty amazing to see how quickly my body rebounded. There has been ZERO ankle pain or swelling, but I still treat my ankles as though they are injured. After each run I sort of sit there looking at them, expecting something to happen…but nothing yet! I’m super thankful to be able and chase this goal after all, and no matter what happens on race day, it’s an accomplishment nonetheless.
All I can do is put in the work, follow my routine like every other long run, and enjoy the experience ahead. It’s much easier said than done, but I will repeat this to myself until I get to the start line.
There will be one last post once this whole experience is done but already I want to thank those who have followed along while I chase this goal! I’ve met a wonderful group of runners through social media and it’s refreshing to know I’m not the only crazy one out there 😉