In case you have missed any of the previous Breaking Down 26.2 parts here you go: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5. The final part of the series will take you through miles 23 to the finish, as well as a fair warning of what will happen moments after you finish.
IT IS GOING TO START HURTING! At this point you are starting to think, what your longest training run was prior to race day and you are about to run further than you have ever ran at this point. Most training plans have you running a 20-22 mile prior to your marathon. This is where everything has to come together to get you to the finish. At mile 22, I mentioned dedicate that mile to someone who has supported you through the journey. Mile 23 start to think of someone that ever doubted your ability to make this happen and actually finish… run angry 🙂 … But not too angry because you still have a couple more miles to finish.
You can start to taste the finish, those pancakes and cold beer sound delicious. With 2.2 miles left don’t forget to throw down a little water and stay hydrated. This mile start to dedicate to someone that you wish could see you at the finish but is no longer with you. Someone that helped make you the strong individual you are today.
As you start to wrap up the race you will begin to see more and more people cheering. From cowbells to signs, people on the sides of the course will help bring you home into the final stretch, use this energy to stay strong and motivated. Like the previous miles start to think of someone you are looking forward to seeing at the finish, is it your family? friends? dedicate this mile to a familiar face that you will see at the finish.
THIS IS ALL ABOUT YOU! This is your mile. Dedicate this final mile to yourself. You put the work into the workouts, you got up early, you turned down a night out for a good nights rest to be ready for the long run on the following day. Mile 26 and the finish are all about you! GET AFTER IT!
I like to separate the final .2 of the race because THIS WILL BE THE LONGEST .2 OF YOUR LIFE! It will seem like this part of the race is longer than the first 13.1 miles of the race. Keep smiling no matter how painful it might feel. You are only yards away from becoming an entirely new person. You are going from a runner to a marathoner the moment you cross that finish line. Don’t forget to smile no matter how much it hurts to get across.
You cross that finish, you have now officially become a marathoner. Congrats! Collect your bling, enjoy the moments with your friends and family. Be cautious because you thought this was a one time thing … It won’t be! You will recover and then start to think … hmmm I wonder which one I should sign up for next … hide your credit cards because you will start to go race registration crazy!
I hope you enjoyed the Breaking Down 26.2 series.
Have you recently completed your first marathon or will be running your first in the next couple of months?