In 3 days, I’ll be lining up at the start line for the 40th running of the Marine Corps Marathon. I’ll be joined by approximately 40,000 of my closest friends.
I’m feeling surprisingly zen about the whole thing.
When I originally decided to run MCM, I had a goal of getting a PR. I trained with the Hansons plan to try to finally break 4:30. And there was a portion of the training cycle where that looked like it might actually be possible.
And then there were the dark days. The days were I was coughing constantly and my hip had me grounded from running. For a while there, I wondered if I’d make it to the start line, much less actually get through to the finish line.
Now, I’m in a different place entirely. Why? Runner’s World Half and Festival.
I dialed in on my planned pace in a way that I didn’t know I was capable of. I ran 3 races (the trail race is a whole different story LOL) with an average pace between 11:06 and 11:14. Right.on.target.
Will it be easy to run the Marine Corps Marathon? No. Will it be manageable? Yes. Barring unforeseen circumstances, I’ve got this. And I can do it with a smile on my face.
I went back and read my race report from my first Marine Corps Marathon. I struggled. A lot. I’ve learned a lot in the last 7 years. Know what I’ve learned? I’ve learned that there is a difference between racing a race and running a race. Racing involves pushing yourself and walking (running?) the fine line between a manageable pace and one that pushes you over the edge and forces walking. Running a race, on the other hand, is a much more controllable endeavor. It’s easier to avoid the wall if you are maintaining a pace that feels comfortable at all times. I will be running this marathon, not racing it. And I’m ok with that.
I just need to remember to run with my brain and my heart and let my legs just come along for the ride.