Oh s**t only a week left!
Unbelievably it’s only a week to go before the marathon. Mentally I have been fixed in the medium and long term, getting fit, eating right, what is the plan for Comrades? and so on. I went out for a drink with some friends on Wednesday evening and as I started talking about training and my goals for the race, the short term suddenly hit me. A week on Sunday I will be out in a field near Foyers about to start my first 26 miler.
Looking forward to it, yes but nervously. Preparation wise of course, there is very little to do. However, as a result, every detail seems magnified. The main concerns are diet during the week and how much to run. Everything else is important as well though. Sleep pattern, other activities, planing out the detail of the registration process making sucre I choose the right gear and many other aspects suddenly loom very large in my mind. I am discovering lots of new websites with last minute advice which I am trying to ignore and follow at the same time.
When I am not stressing about detail, I am thinking about the race itself. I genuinely don’t know what to expect. Specifically, I have a very wide range of expectation in terms time and pace and no idea at all how my legs will feel when I reach the latter stages. Pacing is not generally my strongpoint in any case. When I ran the half marathon, I just aimed for a comfortable pace and only really checked the watch twice at 10km and 10 miles. After a tough last couple of miles, I ended with a time which was marginally better than my most ambitious goal so obviously the strategy was a brilliant one. Except this is twice as far, what happens of comfortable proves to be too fast after only half the race? If my legs blow up with three miles to go fine but what if its ten? On the other hand if I start slow and finish feeling like I have just had an enjoyable training run, how frustrating will that be? Unfortunately, I don’t know what I am capable of and even if I did, I am not yet good enough at pacing myself to run to a planned pace anyway. Not surprisingly this is feeding the excitement and the nerves.
All a bit focused inwards but can’t be helped. Will continue to obsess this week but hopefully enjoy the race. I will be on twitter, Facebook etc and updating with a full report when the head and legs have recovered sufficiently.
Beautiful view of Loch Ness from the roadside in Foyers. How hard can it be?