In the past five or six weeks, a good half of this marathon build-up, I have spent two weeks recovering from the idiotic half marathon I ran, and another three fighting off two separate „colds.“ While I was able to run during the recovery from the half marathon (not a high volume of miles, but great quality work), I have unfortunately not been able to do much running through the past three weeks. In fact, in this last week before the marathon I have committed to not run a step until I am completely well. Yesterday’s nine minutes of running were the first test, and though I was stiff and my body reacted sluggishly, I could breathe through both my mouth and nose. That’s a very good sign. I have no fever or great deal of fatigue, just a lack of confidence. Today I will attempt a half hour run and take liquid about halfway through (as training for Sunday). The next two days will help me decide whether or not I will attempt to run 2:24, or whether I will attempt to run 2:30. Regardless of the end goal, I am going to start out extremely slowly and try to listen to my body rather than follow blindly the lead of those running around me.

Wish me luck with that!

This training build-up has not been the best of my life, but I was feeling more confident than ever until I caught the second cold. I have no idea where my fitness is, what kind of response my body will have to not running for four days straight, or if I’ll be able to find that balance I had found post half-marathon disaster (the balance of remaining completely relaxed at a high speed).

When I had finally listened to my body and focused on relaxing rather than pushing to some psychological limit in order to reach an arbitrary training goal that I had set for myself, I was surpassing the arbitrary goals with ease and arming myself with the knowledge that I could go faster farther if I needed too. That’s a powerful tool to have in your pocket on race day.

Now… I don’t know where I stand. I guess I know that I’ll be standing on the starting line of the Graz Marathon in three days, regardless. I will watch the men I yearn the most to beat sprint away at the gun, and hold a deep hope that my patience and decision to run within myself will allow me to catch a pair of them in the final agonizing kilometers.

An endurance triathlete a few friends and I were talking to this past weekend said that regardless of what has happened in training up until that point, he is always sure and accepting of one thing, „I’ve got a hard days work ahead of me.“

Once you’ve said it, it’s easy to accept. Regardless of your ability level or your goal, when we all meet again at the finish line, we will have endured a long, hard days work.

Hopefully, we’ll all be satisfied and chat happily with no regrets.

I’ll be chatting in broken German. 🙂