Last week in Breaking Down 26.2: Part 4, I covered up through the 30k mark. This week I take you through the portion of the course which I like to call the grind it out miles. Miles 19, 20, 21 and 22. I like to think of these miles much like turning 19 and 20 years of age. When you turn 18 it is kind of cool, you have made it to “adult age”, chances are you are a senior in high school or freshman in college. Then nothing really cool happens until you turn 21, where you get to adventure the nightlife social world. However, before getting there you gotta just grind out the ages of 19 and 20 :), just like those miles in the marathon.
Around mile 19 you will probably start to feel tired, this is normal. However, this is also what you have trained for. Before hitting the final 10k of the race, I like to take some deep cleansing breathes and remind myself the support I have had through the last months during training and relax to continue to enjoy the race. This would be a good time to do a systems check to find out if you can kick the legs for the final 10k.
You are now in the final 10k of the race. Make sure you grab some water at this point, rarely can anyone start skipping hydration or calories at this point. My recommendation is to not overload on the gels otherwise your stomach could really set you back during this part of the race.
You may also start to realize, wow what is that weird but a bit painful feeling. You are chaffing! Haha, yes chances are in your mind you are also thinking, “Wow, I didn’t realize I could chaff there”. Live and learn and apply more Body Glide in the future.
As the course starts to wrap up you begin to see more people on the sides cheering you on. Enjoy this moment because you are a few more miles away from being a marathoner. No matter how fast or how slow you go in this final portion of the race, one thing no one can take away from you is the fact that the moment you cross the finish line you become a marathoner. Keep in mind during these final miles that your legs will want to quit, but your mind needs to be stronger. Just continue to take deep cleansing breathes when needed and keep on moving.
4.2 miles to go, it is time to gather all of your thoughts and start to remind yourself why you do this. I like to start dedicating miles at this point in the race. Keep motivated and moving by thinking of someone who has supported you through your entire journey to running your marathon.
Another 4 miles in the books. In the final part of the Breaking Down 26.2, I will get you all the way through the finish.