One Week

Well here we are: ONE WEEK out from the Marathon. With the hard work done, I’ve been reflecting on where I am today. As I line up at the start on May 29,  I’m confident I will be lining up with one of my strongest training cycles behind me. Recognizing that the marathon really is about the journey, I’m pleased with the progress I’ve made since January.

Looking back on some of the highs and lows of training, I’ve been thinking more about what I’ve done differently this time around. While I didn’t realize it in the moment – the early mornings, the tired legs are not new things to me – there has been something different about this time around. 

I officially began training for the Ottawa Marathon 21 weeks ago (January 3). In reality, training for Ottawa began a year ago when I started with my coach, in the lead up to the Hamilton Marathon. I will be racing Ottawa with many thoughts in my head, but these are some of the ones that stand out.

 I have confidence. Fear, comparison, doubt. These demons have triumphed over me in days and races past. I have gained so much confidence and strength from running. The past six months have been yet another period of development in my life. There have been runs that have tested me, times where my mind told me to quit. I will remember these moments when I’m racing on May 29. Marathons are not for the faint of heart; being presented with reasons to quit are a constant in any runners life. The ability and confidence to say, NO, I GOT THIS, are what will inevitably define success. 

I am stronger. I’ve broken many personal barriers in the past six months. Whether this is mental or physical, I am stronger than I was in January (or a year ago, for that matter). I’ve seen faster times, PRs and endurance like I have not experience before. I don’t say this to imply that I’m invincible to what is presented on race day, I say this because there have been times in the past that I thought I could NEVER do some of the things I do now. I smile at this now. My speed work is now run at a minute+ faster than ever before. 32km+ runs, while still challenging, are very doable. I will bring all the lessons learned with me on race day. My “tool kit” has become more refined – my legs are stronger, my mind is clearer. I AM READY. 
 

I have faith. I am humbled by the marathon distance and know that there is bigger plans at play than just my actions of lacing up and arriving at the start line. I know that on May 29 I will not be given more than I can handle. I have a deep sense of comfort that running is a part of my story – that whatever happens during this race is a part of my journey. I used to be very anxious about race days. I put so much pressure on myself. It was all about what I could control. What would others think if I failed? Did I do enough to prepare? It’s funny how as I have matured as a runner, as a person, I’ve become less concerned with my ability to control the outcome.

For all those lacing up for their last weekend run before race day, LOVE EVERY MOMENT. Take a moment to reflect on what you have accomplished since starting your training. Whether it’s a 5k or a marathon, we all run together next weekend. Our victory lap is 7 days away.

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Are you racing next weekend? 

What will you be thinking about during the race? 

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on TwitterInstagram and Strava. Check out my running story in Canadian Running MagazineHave a suggestion for a runner profile? Let me know!

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