Thirty-two kilometers. Just about 20 miles. Three hours and thirty four minutes. A lot of running in anyone’s book.
But I can’t help but feel discouraged.
It’s still 10.2km short of my marathon distance, yet it took everything I had to finish this one. And I’m STILL hung up on needing to run this marathon in 4:15:00. But honestly, at this pace I won’t even make 4:30:00, probably closer to 4:45:00.
I know, I know. It’s my first marathon. I should be happy with just being able to do it! But whether I base my expectations of myself on my Yasso 800 times, or any one of the innumerable race calculators basing my marathon time on my 12km City to Surf or self-ran half marathon, everything says I should be able to make 4:15:00. If I didn’t have the drive I do to succeed at this, I couldn’t have gotten as far as I have, so it’s VERY important to me to be able to run it in that time. It’s what’s gotten me this far.
But I can’t see myself running another 10km in anything less than an hour twenty based on how I faded out on this 32km. So we’re looking at 5 hours.
So what’s holding me back? It could be any number of factors. I’m possibly OVER-training. My long slow runs are supposed to be just that, SLOW. Not run at my expected marathon pace. But I have a hard time accepting the fact that running slower is going to make me run faster. As it is, my times seem to be getting slower and slower anyway. If it IS over-training, hopefully my three week “taper” towards the end of my training (gradually running less and less to let the body rest and recover before the big one) will mean that my body DOES recover and runs stronger than it has been.
The other alternative is mental. When I started this training in July, I had just come back from a visit to my family and friends in the states. I felt on top of the world and ready to take on anything. So I did! That shift in mental attitude had me from not being able to run the Yandi hill to being able to run it twice in one run within a week of starting my training! The mind is just as important in marathon running as the legs are. And my mind is starting to give up, to say “You’re tired, just walk a bit”. And I don’t know what I need to do to get back that mental focus I started with.
It’s times like these where perhaps I would be better off being able to talk to other marathon runners, get some moral support, learn from their experience. Perhaps they’d be able to tell me what I’m going through is perfectly normal and that it will all fall together on the day. Up here on the mine site, they are all getting tired of hearing about my running so I keep it to myself now unless they ask, and they ask less and less.
All I know is, I should be proud of having just run the furthest I have ever run in my life, but instead it has me feeling down and glum.