It’s getting close; I can feel it. By the time I get this up, it will be fifteen days to race day. Fifteen days to find out if I’ve got what it takes to be a sub 3 hour marathoner runner. Ironically, fifteen is also a poignant number for the marathon because that is the mile right before the onslaught of four hills culminating in Heartbreak Hill is set to begin. In a way, it is the calm before the storm, a time for all the runners to assess their physical and mental state before tackling the toughest part of the race.
So where am I physically, emotionally, and psychologically with the race now just fifteen days away?
Well, physically, I feel fine, or as well as I could hope for given all the heavy mileage (for me) that I’ve asked this body to train through. I’ve suffered many injury scares over the past several weeks, a pulled hamstring here, an Achilles’ tendonitis there, but they’ve all subsided to the point where it’s not noticeable or only barely so even as I’m running at marathon pace. As long as I don’t push hard and remember to run constructive miles (which builds confidence) rather than destructive miles (which break down muscle) I should make it through the taper with a realistic change to physically run a great race.
Emotionally and psychologically however, it is somewhat of a different story. For one reason or another, I’ve been having a hard time visualizing my personal success in the Boston Marathon. Maybe it’s from the lack of support from those closest to me (like my parents who only recently found out I’m heading to Boston to run a marathon and isn’t so pleased with my decision) or just my own inability to see myself as a good athlete, but I’m having a hard time coming to terms with what I’m hoping to do on April 20th. In a weird way, I feel like a career minor leaguer suddenly getting the call to pitch Game 7 of the World Series. Does this even make sense?
In an effort to “build up ammo” and strategize my attack on all the frailties of the mind that will threatening my chances on Marathon Monday, I’m going to confront my fears and list the ten biggest psychological stumbling blocks I have heading into race day. I figure if I know what I’m dealing with now, I have a few days to prepare mentally to put up a good realistic fight.
In no particular order then, my biggest worries for the Boston Marathon are:
Hope you all are having a good weekend.