100km, Race to the Stones on July 14th 2018.
I did it and I don’t even know how.
Ok, I know, I wasn’t in coma for 15 hours. What I mean I didn’t train properly, in the last 3 months due to inexplicable feeling of weakness I dialed back my mileage and I didn’t run more than 13 miles in single workout.
My contract wasn’t renewed so I’m jobless, I had some serious personal issues and to be honest I’m not sure where I’m going to live in the next few months. Not the best scenario to run a race where mental shape counts as much as the physical one. I knew i wasn’t ready so I had to do some damage control before the damage would be done!
- I realistically estimated how far I could go and in my calculations it was 60 km. Whatever would happen after that wasn’t clear but I knew I’d be able to go that distance. I thought I would walk the rest
- I had no idea about the pace so I decided to leave my garmin at home and go for an easy pace, in my estimation I shouldn’t feel exhausted at least for the first 20 km
- I decided to walk every uphill, some of them were quite easy to run, others were more steep. I’m not shy of hills (at least not all of them) but I was on Energy Save mode
That’s about the technical strategy, how about my mental game? I’m not very good at it and as you’ve already seen I’m quite fragile at the moment.
Very often I can’t separate my every day issues from the race and I keep on thinking about them while running. It wasn’t different this time and some of the kms flew by while I was thinking about future and, let’s be honest, about the negative stuff. After some time I was able to abandon those feeling, maybe the meditation I’ve been practicing these days is really helping (I’ll tell you about it in a different post?
The last piece of this success is ‘everyday hero factor’ as I call it (ok, I just invented it on the spot):
lot of what’s happening to you is a patchwork of what you can do and what happens to you and not all of it you can control.
Race, exceptions not included, is your piece of reality where so much more depends on you and you can make it the way you want it.
I was aiming for a lot, I got it all.
I guess marathon training is taking its tool on me as I’m incredibly tired this week after lasts week’s training (70 km in total). I’m behaving like I would after a marathon: running less and taking some rest.
What is bothering me now are…my teeth! One of those will have to be devitalized, I just discovered that and i want to have it done before marathon. I know it’s crazy to schedule your dental care around my race calendar but I don’t want to be on painkillers on the start line.
How was my last long run that made me rest this week? Terrible. My glute was on fire, I was tired, thirsty and slow. And I stopped like a million times. I guess the marathon will go just fine. Honestly, I’m more worried about my teeth than my pace now. Ok, just a little bit more.
The marathon is in less than 3 weeks and I’ve done all I could. It wasn’t perfect but everyday life is like that. You fail but you have to go on #life #wisdom
Last week I went with my friends for a non competitive run in the countryside. It was mostly off road with some uphill parts. I wasn’t terribly fast and it was only 24 km but I ran all the hills, I drank all the hot tea at the refreshment points and I finished happy.
Today I came back even more happy on my normal running route and I realized that for some time I haven’t changed it. So next week I’m running a trail, short one and not very hilly. My legs but also my head need some change sometimes. Overall I like running now and running likes me back.
How you master your mental game for a race?
If you don’t know what a mental game is don’t feel guilty, I just made it up. It means being mentally strong and prepared for the race day or even the long run.
Another week flew by and I have to say I don’t feel any more prepared to the marathon than I was before. It’s going to be my 15th marathon (I think, I lost count) and I still find myself thinking: am I able to run a marathon? I guess you’re always a beginner at running because you have to reset so many times. Running after injury, running in winter, running in summer, it all makes me feel new to it.
So far I’m still struggling to get faster, those intervals ain’t getting any easier. I’d like to speed up and run a half before april’s marathon. Turin, Verona, Lago Maggiore?