2 weeks until the Gold Coast Marathon
I know I've been harping on about this, but it's a big thing for me. It's pushing my limits and my thoughts about myself. There is officially only 2 weeks until I run my first marathon at the Gold Coast. I'm not in the shape I wanted to be, however my fitness & endurance are ok (could always be better!).
One of the best things about this race is the brilliant location. I mean, just look at this.... Amazing views of the Pacific Ocean and Gold Coast beaches will surely distract from some of the pain of running a marathon!
Here's the course for those of you watching at home. Friends who have run the course say it's mentally tough when you run past the finish line at 30km. So I've been trying to prepare myself for that.
I went down to the Gold Coast today to do my last long training run. I ran 22km, it was hard, it hurt and I wanted to stop every km after about the 14km mark.
So how am I going to run 42.2km??? I don't know! Honestly... I hope I just get lost in the atmosphere. It's a sellout so apparently there's 40,000 people running over the weekend down there. It is going to be huge! Then the spectators & volunteers are always good for a high 5 or shout out. If I can find a nice rhythm and try to take it all in I'll be fine. I hope.
My preparation hasn't been as solid as I would have liked. I knew I was going to have challenges in terms of consistency with all the travel I do. But I do have a few half marathons (5 or 6), a few 25 & 28km runs and a 35km run under the belt since I started training for this event in December last year.
They say that running a marathon will change your life. I'm surprised at the way it did for me though. It took away the desire to push harder in training that I usually carry. I think once you start running those big distances you need to just go with the flow... If you push too hard you blow up and don't finish. That's been an interesting lesson for me to learn on this journey.
I've also learnt to take the setbacks in my stride, and rest. They're two other factors that I perhaps didn't deal with as well as I do now, before embarking on this crazy marathon journey. I've also learnt to remove expectations. Originally I wanted to run a sub-4hr marathon because I have run a sub 2 hr half marathon. Somewhere along my training journey I realised that that was unrealistic. So I set myself a 5hr goal. And then I set myself a goal to finish! In the past I would have just tried to train harder to meet my original goal. But the goalposts needed to be moved for my health's sake!
So with 2 weeks left, it's time to reduce the distance I've been running, let my body recover and freshen up for the big event. I'll still be running some 5, 8 & 10km training runs in the next few weeks, but nothing over the 16km mark.
It's amazing how you mindset changes. Before to complete a half marathon I would train intensely for months. Now I'm thinking that's not a long enough training run! Today I ran 22km as a shorter training run.... Perhaps I have gone mad.
I've got my nutrition worked out, and I plan to run with a camel back water pack for hydration. If that runs out I will use the water on course. And I'll try to take in more endura earlier than I did in the 28km race last weekend, so that I don't cramp up. Fingers crossed.
So I look forward to writing my post race rundown (pun intended) in a few weeks time after becoming a marathon runner!