Today felt like a dress rehearsal for just about any marathon I have run; very little sleep, upset stomach, out the door before sunrise, and pain and huge appetite after the run.
I took a similar route as last time but wanted to give the hills on Sherwood road and on University a try on tired legs. The last time I ran the PEI Marathon these pushed my left hamstring over the edge and I started to cramp, which caused a loss of about ten minutes in my final finish time. Today I had no such problem, but I was also running far slower. The protests from my body have progressed this year to the muscles around my hips, which have been getting a great work out from CrossFit and my running. Every year of running brings some malady – I’m hoping that this year, with the 15+ hours of training I do a week, may be different.
I’m still not convinced that I can complete a marathon in October within a respectable period of time. At the pace I am running now it’s mostly a mental game. As I don’t listen to music, I usually pick work related problems to solve while running. But work is far less challenging than in the past so I usually spend time writing blog posts or stories, which never see the light of day. I also do other visualization exercises (sometimes visualization a huge feast at the end of a run helps) to keep my mind off the fact that once I hit the 21k mark I start to feel real discomfort. When I start looking frequently at my watch I know that I am near the end of my patience, today that happened at around 25k. At that point though I still had ways to go and had little choice to continue.