Lessons Learned From My Last Long Run

This morning was my last long run before the marathon. It did not go well. I am fighting some serious internal debate over whether or not I am capable of running 26.2 miles in 7 short days, when today running 8 was a struggle. I'm trying to keep the negativity out, and hoping that today's crappy run just means I got all the junk out of my system.

It may be a good thing that this run wasn't rainbows and butterflies and puppies, because it gave me a reality check. Some I'm taking some things away from today to remind myself for next weekend:

Do set yourself up for success. Last night I went to bed at midnight, slept through two alarms and woke up an hour later than I planned to. I was rushed and didn't get through my normal routine. I knew it wasn't the end of the world and I'd be able to stick it out for 8 miles, but I wish I has taken a little more care to make this run more of a confidence-builder. Obviously I will be taking extreme measures to make sure I'm well-prepared when I wake up on marathon morning!

Do eat your normal pre-run dinner. Last night I had pasta out instead of the same pasta I've been eating every Friday night for...I don't know how many months now. Good enough, but sticking to my tried and true dinner is probably going to be better for 26.2.

Don't stress. Easier said than done, but I've been on an emotional roller coaster (for various reasons) this week and know I need to keep my cool this week. All of this stress is not good for my body.

Do use every available restroom and/or porta potty available before the race. Enough said.

Don't overdress. Today I went out in 60 degree, muggy, rainy weather in long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Not the most appropriate choice.

Do take it easy. Don't worry too much about pace. I would be lying if I said I didn't have a time I hope to beat. However, I know I have a much better success of achieving the time I want if I start out slow. Burning out too quickly isn't going to get me anywhere I want to be. I want to run at a pace that feels okay, and not worry too much about what it means for my final time. 

Do respect the distance. 26.2 miles is a longggggg friggin' way, y'all.

Do embrace the suck. It is going to hurt. A lot. I don't know when the pain will come, but I know it will. I don't have to focus on it and wait for it all race, but when it does arrive...I want to be ready for it.

Don't give up on yourself. If I accomplish nothing else on this list, this would be the one thing I want and need to do. My first half marathon was a disastrous experience, and not one that I remember fondly, because ultimately, I gave up on myself when the going got tough. I regret it, and I know I will never forgive myself if I do that to myself during my first marathon.

I'm sure that there will be plenty of other dos and don'ts that I come up with throughout the next 6 days!

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