Alright as I get closer to running this marathon, I am starting to prepare even more. First let me say, I am terrified. I have had some really disappointing long runs and I feel like I am not ready for this. Second, I am so over this training… I’m so ready to not have to plan my schedule and life around long runs and hoping that it doesn’t snow just yet! I can’t wait for this to be over.
This Tuesday will be my last really long run before race day and I am looking forward to getting it out of the way and desperately hoping that I feel awesome and finish feeling confident that I will be able to do this 26.2 miles in a few weeks. As I prepare for this long run, I have been preparing myself for race day. This is my last chance to prepare and practice my strategy before the big day. I have been researching a lot of mental strategies and motivations for finishing a marathon. I have also been researching getting through the wall and overcoming common race day obstacles (especially bathroom issues).
I want to me as prepared mentally as possible so that it is one things less I have to think about come race day. So here is what I have planned and am going to try on Tuesday. As a Birth Doula I am planning this out like a woman in labor. After all labor is a marathon (I need to write a whole post on that)
First I plan to break the race up into 5 mile segments. For me 5 miles is an easy segment and I know I can run 5 miles pretty smoothly. Each segment I plan to focus on something different to help me get through it and prepare myself for the next one to come. I am planning to write these focuses on my arm in case my mind goes blank and I can’t remember while I am running. So here they are:
Miles 1-5 (Pre-labor) Focus on breathing, relaxing, and warming up. Many people push themselves at the start of races and I do not want to burn out so I plan to focus on my own pace and not get wrapped into other people’s paces.
Miles 5-10 (Realizing you are in labor) I will be focusing on pace and form. Form is really important for me and I know during these few miles if my form is not good I will be hurting the rest of the race.
Miles 10-15 (Start of Active Labor) I will be focusing on my body and checking each piece from my toes to the top of my head. Thinking through what hurts, if anything needs a stretch, and how things feel. I will also focus on maintaining nutrition and hydration.
I know I can get through these miles pretty smoothly so up to mile 15 is all focused on preparing for the challenging miles ahead and giving myself the best possible circumstances.
Miles 15-20 (Water breaking/Epidural thoughts) will be focused on enjoying the race. I plan to look around, read every sign, give as many high fives as possible and simple take it all in. I know after this point I won’t be able to focus on taking it all in and I don’t want to miss it. So this will be a good distraction as I lead to that place.
Miles 20-25 (Transition) will be all about distracting myself mentally. I plan to use each mile to pray for something different (writing them on my arm ahead of time) and really think about that person or situation. I plan to dig deep and use my why and mantras to push through these last few miles (more on that in a post in a few days).
Mile 25- finish (Pushing and Baby!) Will be all about taking it all in and enjoying the accomplishment that I am achieving. I don’t want to miss a second of the last mile. Even if I have to walk this whole mile I am taking in every second of it!
I am hoping with these goals and focuses I will be successful in completing this marathon and feeling accomplished at the end. I plan to try them out on Tuesday in my last long run and really get a feel for what needs to change and what is working.
Have you run a full marathon? What was your mental plan?