It’s not that I don’t trust the training. My coaches are incredible, our program is solid, and God knows I’ve put in the work. But still, when you get to this point in the season, you can’t help but wonder if you’re truly ready. I’ve come to accept that this (the last-minute doubting and fretting) is a normal part of marathon training.
Our last “long” run was this weekend, in beautiful Monterey. It was the site of my 20-miler last season, which didn’t go so well (this was when my brief ankle tendonitis decided to make itself manifest), so I had mixed feelings going in. On one hand, it’s ridiculously gorgeous and with scenery such as this (the photo above really doesn’t do it enough justice), could any run here really be THAT bad? But on the other hand, memories of the bum ankle and my less-than-triumphant finish the last time I ran this course kind of haunted me.
I’m happy to say that this run was MUCH better. I was a little worried at first, with my legs feeling heavy right from the get-go, but despite this (which, unfortunately, didn’t get better at any point during the run), I persevered. My stamina was strong that day, and I managed to fight off fatigue, managing to maintain a good pace throughout and not feeling overly wiped by the end of the 10 miles. The best part? When I looked at my watch, I discovered that this was the fastest I had ever run 10 miles.
Royal Victoria will still be scary–I think you just need to have respect for your course–but I know I can face it. Conquer it, even. And it will be the culmination of all the hard work, all the aches, all the pain of this season. I’m imagining that finish line and what it will feel like to cross it and when I start to panic about the whole thing again, I will keep that visual in my head.
Catch you guys on the flip side.