83 days of marathion training and today has been by far the hardest. From the moment my eyes opened this morning I have been a bubbling cauldron of anxiety... it's been driving me (and Danny) mad. Everything that normally seems so easy and without consequence seems to be a matter of life or death inside my head. Stuff all the long runs and speed sessions I had done, I was convinced that what I chose for lunch today was going to make or break my marathon attempt! Silly, silly, silly...
I tried to distract myself by cooking up a storm - Unfortunately when you are the person that does the cooking in your house it generally means you are the one that has to make all of your post-marathon treats yourself.
Lasagne and 'naked' Cinnamon Buns
Cinnamon Buns - Now fully clothed!
Thankfully, as the afternoon has worn on and I have slowly arranged the mountain of things I have deemed absolutely necessary to run a marathon, my anxiety has slowly been turning to excitement but I have one overwhelming feeling at the moment - When the race is run and done, I'm fairly confident I will never be doing another marathon! Obviously the achievement of a long held goal is exciting and has a lot of positives but not enough to convince me to do it again!
What I won't miss about marathon training -
Early mornings - Not that I'm an 'up at noon' kind of gal but setting my alarm for 3am? Not my idea of a good time!
Restless Legs - The night after long runs was always frustrating. My entire body wanted to sleep but my legs were ready to party. They would twitch all night and before I started drinking an electrolyte replacer I would get bad middle of the night leg cramps too.
Hunger - If anyone tells you that training for a long distance run in a guaranteed way to lose weight, go ahead a punch them for me will you? My hunger increased a lot and it usually wasn't a gentle hunger either... When it hit it was a 'must-eat-now' kind of feeling.
Panicking about little niggles and aches - In my mind every little pang I felt was the beginning of some terrible injury.
Obsessing over training charts - The thought of not ticking a box on my training chart filled me with dread. It was so stupid! As if not completing one 5km run here and there was going to have a huge effect overall!? But that's just the way this crazy brain of mine works!
Saying no to everything - Dinners, parties, food, drinks, movies, activities... I've felt like such a party-pooper for the last three months.
Self-doubt - I struggle with self-belief at the best of times but there's nothing like rising mileage and increasing pace targets to really get you questioning your ability.
Recording my food intake - I kept a food and exercise diary for the entire 12 weeks. For someone who despises recording this kind of thing it was a big ask. It will be fun to look back at it later though!
Taper - I swear they should make it a dirty word... Hate is a perfectly acceptable term for how I feel about the crazy mix of feelings and emotions that taper brings.
Fueling - Even when this is all done I still don't think I will be any wiser about what it takes to fuel well for a 42km run. I guess we all just do our best and what works for us and hope for a good outcome on the day. I will call it a success if I don't 'pants my poop'.
So here I am... I've had my dinner, my piles of marathon 'essentials' are arranged, my alarm is set for 3am one last time...
I'm as ready as I'll ever be!
I'd Like To Know...
Do you suffer from a case of the 'day before crazies' when it comes to big events?
I was okay before the half marathon but I was a mess before the triathlon...
What are your least favourite parts of training for a specific race?