First Marathon Pre-Race Thoughts

Our first marathon is 3 days away.  Eek!  The Struggle Buster Trio of Stephanie, Anita and Tricia (that’s me) have trained for over 20 weeks to prepare for the Twin Cities Marathon.  With the race fast approaching, excitement and nervousness are building exponentially.  We thought we would share our pre-race thoughts with you now. 

Stephanie

Busy working mom trains for marathon
Stephanie

It’s almost time. I can’t wait! It should be a great weekend with some great friends. I’m looking forward to the course. Everyone says it is a beautiful course and that the spectators and volunteers are amazing. Everyone says to trust the training and it will be great.

Doubts

But, will it be great?

Am I ready?

Maybe I should have cross-trained a bit more.

Twenty miles was hard. How am I going to do another 6.2 miles?

Can I really trust the training?

I am excited and exhausted all at once. Even a 3-mile run feels difficult now. And now I’m fighting a cold virus. Tapering has also been so tough.  Yes, it’s time to cut back our mileage, but I feel like I should do more just to be certain that I can cross the finish line.  

Very soon I will toe the line and see if I can conquer my goal. Now to rest and try not to let my thoughts get the better of me.

It WILL be great!

Anita

Anita

So many emotions are running through me as the date approaches to run my first marathon.

Excitement

I’m excited for all the sights I will see along the way. I have been told that the spectators are spectacular with their words of encouragement and their awesome signs. The course itself promises to be beautiful and scenic, which I’m looking forward to. I’m told there will even be pickle juice shots at mile 13!

Anxiousness

I’m anxious that I will get caught up in the moment and start out way too fast and then hit a wall. I worry that this may prevent me from finishing.  I’ve worked so hard to accomplish this.  Even worse, I worry I may be in pain. I might even hate each step I take because I’m so fatigued. Negative thoughts can so easily creep in and take over. 

But, I have to remember that I am stronger than that and I WILL finish!!

Start slow. Start slow. Keep my pace. Keep my pace… These will likely be in my thoughts in the first miles.

Fear

I’m scared! I started running again in mid-March after taking several months off. I have come a long way from that point when two kilometres was a huge challenge. When I accepted this challenge I had enough of being sick or injured. I had ankle injuries that were taking forever to heal and had just recovered from shingles and bronchitis.

At the end of August my calves started aching constantly and kept getting worse. Turns out it was DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). I diligently went to physiotherapy and did my exercises in what I call my torture chamber.  My lacrosse ball massager and I get along much better now. Then with only two weeks until race day I came down with a monster head and chest cold. So yah, I’m scared! I’m scared that old injuries will return and that my cold, which also triggers my asthma, will not get better by race day.

Thankfulness

I’m thankful to my family for allowing me to train for this marathon. We knew it would take a lot of hours each week to train but they never once complained. They encouraged me and made it possible for me to get my workouts in even when time was tight or when I really didn’t want to go out for that solo run.

My husband has had my back every step of the way and my daughters have both told me how much they’re proud of me for taking on this monumental task.

I’m also thankful for the company and encouragement that comes from my two running partners. I don’t know how I let these two ladies talk me into this?

All in all, it has been a very interesting journey. All that’s left is to enjoy the run so I will try to keep all my emotions in check and focus on the experience. 

We got this!

Tricia

Tricia

I started having butterflies this past weekend when at our local Chippewa Challenge 8K Race.  Most of my runner friends were at this event.  They were asking how we were feeling and if we were ready for the big day ahead.  I started to think about those answers as I ran that beautiful 8K course.  I had been too busy prior to this to even think about how I now felt about running my first marathon. 

It’s far!

Those 26.2 miles seem so far.  It will be 6 miles further than we have run before.  That alone makes me anxious.  They say you don’t need to run the full distance during training.  Apparently running 20 miles in training is enough.  Many marathoners have done it this way. 

Yet, I still have doubts. 

Finishing?

I think I can run and finish the distance.  But I am not 100% sure.  We have 6 hours to complete it before the cut off time.  5 ½ hours to finish it before they start taking down the food, or so I am told.  A 6-hour marathon is an average pace of 14-minute miles.  We have been doing our long slow training runs at a 12-minute mile pace.  And I have certainly run half marathons at a faster average pace.  So, I think I can do this.  The question in my mind is can I do this over the whole distance?  Finishing 20 miles was hard.

Goals?

Twenty weeks ago my original goal was 5 hours, give or take, simply for the fact that I didn’t really want to be out there running longer than that.  Is this achievable?  Did I push hard enough in training? I am not so sure.  It will be tough.  Based on my last 20-mile training run, I think there will need to be perfect conditions to achieve this.  Perfect weather and temperatures.  I will need to be well-rested, well-hydrated and feeling healthy that day.  Will I at least try?  Probably.  Will I be disappointed in myself if I don’t achieve this?  I don’t know yet.  Probably not.

Fun?

However, I also want to enjoy the run.  I am excited for the course and the experience of running my first marathon.  I am told the Twin Cities Marathon course is beautiful and a pleasure to run.  People who have run it before also tell me that the spectators are fabulous and cheer the loudest.  I am looking forward to these parts.  I definitely want to run this race. These are the reasons I signed up.  I want to drink it all in; experience everything.  So, if stopping for selfies, recording some video or high-fiving the spectators puts me well over that 5-hour finish time, so be it.  I don’t think I will be disappointed in myself if having fun slows me down. 

Bonking?

My biggest fear is bonking; not being able to physically finish the race.  It can happen to anyone, but most often happens to those who are under-trained or under-nourished.  Hopefully this won’t happen to any of us on race day.  I want to finish and be upright as I cross the finish line.  I want to have enough left to celebrate with my friends afterwards.  The thought of not being able to do this makes those butterflies in the pit of my stomach flutter furiously. 

Pain & Suffering?

I also fear the pain and suffering we will experience towards the end of the marathon distance.  I hope I am mentally strong enough to endure it and push through.  I like to think I am mentally capable.  But, this will be another test of my mental toughness.  I went through childbirth twice and cancer treatments.  I can do this!  …I think? 

Pink Ribbon Runner Marathon Challenge
The Struggle Buster Trio

Trust in Our Training

Trust in the training, they say.  Well, all three of us have trained and worked hard to get here.  It will take a combination of toughness in body, mind and spirit to get us across that finish line of our first marathon. 

Let’s get that bling!  Here we go! 

Join Pink Ribbon Runner over on Facebook for updates on the Struggle Buster Trio as they run their first marathon.

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