Marathon #17

Keep calm, they say.


With less than two weeks to go, I think I am everything but calm.  You would think that I have this whole marathon gig down pat.  I mean, having run eight marathons last year, I should be raring to go.  In fact, I do have race withdrawal.  An affliction I’ve endured for the last two months or so.  I haven’t raced since November 2nd.  This may, in fact, be the longest break between races I have ever endured.  Normally I start have race withdrawal about two weeks after a race.  This stretch by race day, will be over three months.  No wonder I am anything but calm.

I really did need the break, however.  My body was just tired after a full racing season in 2014.  I had some great races, and some not so great.  I needed the time off.  I needed to recover, and get that desire back.  It really took longer than I thought it would.  Even my long training runs haven’t been that fun leading up to marathon 17.  I really haven’t enjoyed many runs at all.  I think the combination of tired legs, lackluster cold weather running and the general malaise that this time of year brings me have left me feeling quite unprepared for this marathon.  Race day has really snuck up on me.  I mean, it really, really has.  I know my mind knows how to conquer the 26.2 miles that await me on February 7th, I just don’t know at this point how my legs will react on race day.


No, this twelve day stretch doesn’t have anything to do with Christmas, Paul.  These twelve days have everything to do with a marathon.  The only present involved will be a medal at the finish line.  If I make it to the finish.  Can you believe that I am even afraid of not finishing?  I guess the nerves are starting to kick in.  Stay calm!  I can do this!  I have to keep reminding myself.

My goals for this race are just to finish, and try to let my body relax through the process and take it all in. Of course, no two marathons are quite the same.  I’m not talking about the course either.  Marathon race day can being all sorts of different results, even for elite athletes.  One never knows how the body will react on race day.  To have the most consistent results, one needs proper training.  This training cycle has been anything but consistent for me, so I need to rely more this time on tenure.  I’ve done this sixteen times in the past, so I have to rely on knowledge I’ve gained along the way.

Hopefully this knowledge will get me to the finish!

No matter how many races you’ve done, have you ever felt underprepared come race day?  How have you overcome?

7 thoughts on “Marathon #17

  1. I race a lot, possibly more than I should and it never gets easier, I can never “keep calm”. But, there is a certain peace that comes when you walk to the starting line and you know you have done all you could for that race. “All you can” is different for each person, for a top competitor in a marathon maybe it’s 100 miles a week and for a beginner maybe it’s just not missing any C25K workouts, but the satisfaction is there.

    In the end, it is only running and meant to be enjoyed. All of us are professionals in something other than running and no matter what happens in a race, even the “personal worsts” I’ve had, I have always learned something. That’s what it is all about.

    Good luck! Just 12 days away :).

  2. Yes, as with everything else in my life, including my wedding day over twenty years ago, I am nervous until the day of, then I am ultra calm. I expect the same here. Thanks for the well wishes.

  3. I’ve always explained a marathon as its own organism… it’s a factor of so many things that should come together at the right time on the right day, including weather! Wishing you the best, but at least you’ve been through it before and know what to expect. I don’t know if I ever feel completely prepared.. I always get to the point of “Oh my goodness I’m going to run 26+ miles how am I going to run that far I can’t do that trust my training it’ll be ok oh hell”. It’s fun for others to be around me the day before.

    • It really is. I think it’s just been too long since I’ve had race jitters, that it has intensified this time. I know I can do it, and that it’ll be tons of fun, too. Thanks for calming me down.

    • Hey, and I can’t believe that you are going to go for your BQ at Wrightsville Beach this March. Now I wish I was running that one so I could be there to congratulate you on your qualie.

      • WB was my backup to Houston, so I really didn’t think I’d be running the full for time! And thank you, you could’ve paced me for the last bit! It’s going to be tough, but if the stars line up like they very well could, I’m going to have a great day! 8 weeks! Running a marathon is a big thing, so I’d almost feel like there’s something wrong if I wasn’t just a little nervous!! You’ll do great! As always!

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