Marathon, D-1: JUST BREATHE

One more day. Here, we are. Saturday morning, I'll cross the start line of my first marathon.

"How do you feel?", "Are you ready?". Until Wednesday, I didn't know how to answer. Strangely, I was ok. I was impatient. I was still excited by the whole experience. I couldn't wait to FINALLY do it. I am not fed up with this (YOU can be) but I now want to know how I will handle my first marathon.

One month before go time, I started counting down the weeks. Last big long run. Start of the tapering. Last tempo run. I was focused on these steps. It wasn't conscious. I was avoiding thinking about the marathon. It's called: burying your head in the sand. It seems it's my new way of dealing with things. And it worked pretty well as I wasn't anxious.

But, ok, I knew something was coming. I could tell from my overall mood, not specifically towards the marathon but in general. First, I became extremely positive: everything is possible! Then, I felt depressed: everything goes wrong, I am bad at life. Girls, you know this wonderful state of mind we are in every month? Yep, same feeling. I gained an extra one, this month. Great! After that, I had energy to share. I couldn't stay inactive. I wanted to RUN! Thank you, tapering. And, this week, I am paranoid. Don't change anything. Don't change anything. Keep things as you usually do. What do I eat? I have to hydrate. Drink, drink, drink! Should I workout as usual or no?

Then, Wednesday morning, I went for a run. From the start, I knew something was wrong. Knots in the belly, short of breath. The usual race start nerves. WTF?! Sluggish legs. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't calm myself down. After 30 minutes, I was nauseous. It was only a 40-min run. I didn't understand what happened. But, for sure, it triggered lots of doubts. If I feel like that Saturday morning, there's no way I'll be able to make it through 26.2 miles.

I didn't train well. I tapered too early. I am now out of shape. I can't even easily run for 40 minutes! Objectively, I think it's NORMAL. But, it doesn't change the fact the doubts are here to stay. And I am scared. Clearly.

It's only a race. I KNOW. It's not the end of the world. I KNOW. I do it for fun. I KNOW. I do it for me. I KNOW... and it's even more important.

What am I afraid of exactly? I am afraid of not being able to take in the experience, of not being able to reach the point where you run and you just feel fine. My long runs went fine. The furthest ones were exciting and challenging. It was hard but I loved it. I would like it to be the same on the marathon. What do I do if everything feels off on marathon day?

I am not afraid of pain. I prefer to think about exertion. I may be delusional. I don't know. I don't want to know.

I am afraid of physical failure: fainting, being nauseous, being sick. If it happens, I know it'll be difficult for me to overcome.

But, I can't predict all of that. I can't change my training. I've been stubborn on some aspects. I may regret it. So, I am trying to take a step back and see the whole picture. I have to calm down. I have to take a DEEP BREATH. I know it's a challenge. I know I could be proud if I manage to run this marathon. I want to get back to the excitement to fight.

Today, at lunchtime, I'll go get my bib. It surely won't calm my nerves. This is happening... The only thing left to do is: wait and see.

PS: Big up to my sister who managed to calm me down a bit on Skype. She's the best!

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Next races

  • NONE

Miles / km

  • 1 mile = 1.6 km / 1 km = 0.6 mile
  • 5K = 3.1 miles
  • 10K = 6.2 miles
  • half marathon = 13.1 miles = 21.1 km
  • marathon = 26.2 miles = 42.2 km