There are just 29 days until the Richmond Marathon and I’m officially in that stage of training where I’m looking at the calendar, looking at my legs, and then looking back at the calendar again saying “there’s no way I’m going to be ready for this thing! AAAHH!!” I don’t know why I feel this way, but it happens to me before every marathon. You’d think that with this being my fifth one, I’d know by now to trust my training. Last year, I was an emotional wreck in the last three weeks before Chicago right up until the race started. I didn’t feel like I was ready at all, but I went on to rock that race. I had much more reason to be nervous before that race, it was just my third marathon, I was making a real attempt to qualify for Boston (which at the time I was required to do under the men’s qualification time), and I missed almost two weeks of training due to an amazing European vacation.
This time around, my training was more consistent, I didn’t miss out on two weeks of it because of travel. I also bumped up my mileage this time around and got more weekly runs in (six vs five). I’m a much slower runner than I was last year before I had started hormones, but I’m running consistently and I feel good. I had a rough week right before the Disneyland Dumbo Double Dare, but the last five or six weeks of training has been amazing, I’ve really found my groove and have been kicking ass. I’ve fallen back in love with running again after having a mostly off relationship with it for all of 2013. My only major hiccup was a minor cold I had last week which caused me to have to skip a mid-week nine-mile run, but I finished the week only down eight miles from what was on the calendar. I bounced back in time for my 17-mile long run over the weekend and I’ve been feeling great so far this week.
I think the problem I’m facing seems to be less about actual training and more simply a confidence thing. I’ve been completely unable to trust my body since starting hormones. I knew to expect a big loss in strength, but I’m still trying to place where my expectations should be. Even though I really surprised myself a few weeks ago at the Sean Hanna Foundation 5k, that doesn’t seem to be enough. I never feel confident to push my legs like I used to. I’m always afraid they’re not going to be able to keep up with what I’m asking of them. Even if I nail the last four weeks of training, I don’t see myself feeling ready for this race.
Do you ever feel ready for a marathon in the weeks leading up to it?