Last weekend, Steve and I completed our 20-miler in preparation for the Oklahoma City Marathon. That means we are 6 weeks out. We only have one really long run of 22 miles left in this training cycle. It went great.
In the past, I’ve felt like the 20-mile run was daunting. Like there was some mystery to it. I may or may not make it. This thought probably originated because of summer fatigue ad training. For a Fall marathon, the 20-miler hits in the peak of the heat. It’s tough running in 80+ degrees, at least for me. Therefore, I have some attempted 20-milers that I chose not to complete. We ran this one in about 25-degree, sunny weather. It was a gorgeous day. It was a really good run.
I’ve come to believe that running, like almost everything else, is more mental than physical. Sure, you have to have some distance under your belt before you can go and run 20-miles, and you can’t simply think you can and be successful. However, given that you’ve put some training in, there is no physical reason why you cannot make all 20 miles and still be able to walk at the end. It is very doable. Our minds quickly go to recounting the reasons we cannot, and that is where the real battle is.
I’ve become a big proponent of thought work, thanks to my wellness coaches. Consequently, I have a lot of “talks” with myself before and during a run of this length. Positive affirmations are enormously helpful, but only if you believe them. Thought work means creating new thoughts, but for the new thoughts to be effective, they must be believed. And the good news is that we are free to believe.
Along with thought work, adequate preparation is very helpful. A strategy for hydration and fuel is very important. Good marathon training will help to set good habits in this area. It is essential.
Since we have been training for some time now using Jeff Galloway’s methods, we completed this run with a run/walk strategy that is very similar to the strategy we will use in the race itself. We did this on a 4:1 ratio. We insisted on keeping the first 5-10 miles almost uncomfortably slow.
The run went remarkably well. I’m proud of our accomplishment. Each run like this helps to build the confidence necessary to overcome whatever we will face in OKC, including possibly warmer weather.
Two more weeks to the 22+-miler, and then it’s taper taper taper! I love the taper. Ordering new shoes today. Excited for that. Looking forward to an amazing day and another finish.