With three days to go to the Marathon, I’ll try and collect my thoughts and analyse the challege ahead. Today, I have done my last run, 4k around the block at my estimated marathon pace, just a short little run to keep my body moving but still hungry for more. When I set out on Sunday I want to look forward to a long run because, indeed, I am going to be running for a very long time. I know I can do it – I have done it once before – but I also remember how hard it was.
My favourite distance for running is the half-marathon, I enjoy it and I think I do it well. I’m fine up to 26-28k actually, then it gets harder, after 30k it is really hard. A marathon, of course, is a lot longer than that: 42k. I estimate that it is going to take me 5 hours to complete, my first Marathon I completed in 5 hours 12 min. At my estimated Marathon pace, 6:45 min/km, I belive I can manage to beat that time and then I have taken into acount that I’m likely to need to walk parts of the latter stage when my left legs start getting numb due to my nerve problems.
Always when I go for a long run I tell myself “you love running, now you’re going to enjoy this for several hours, how lucky you are!” A positive mindframe is more important than strong legs, at least after 30k or so – if I can tell my body to continue running even though it hurts, I will be able to finish. As my friend Sapna put it: “it is mind over matter”.
When evaluating the route I’m pleased to see that the half marathon and full marathon routes split up at 11k, I should still be fresh and strong by then and not too jealous of those returning to Leiden old town. There, I will head out into the countryside, hopefully the run along the canal will be pretty and then I expect between 15-23 will be a bit harder, if the fields are not very interesting I will need to let my mind wander and entertain myself. Then, hopefully, there will be some people out supporting in the little village. The return towards Leiden may be harder, running between the fields again but the last 5k will be done on the streets of Leiden and hopefully there will be crowd support.
The weather may be chilly, 14 degrees or so and a possibility of rain. Being precious about the newly printed running top, I’m worried I’ll be too cold, but at the same time I do want to display our WIMA Ride and Run logo. I have not yet decided if I’m wearing long or shorter trousers but all other bits are planned for; plasters, gels, socks etc. All is tried and tested in training and indeed there has been a lot of training. At this point, I would again like to acknowledge the great support I have received from Sudbury Court Running Club. I have been a member for a very short time but I never felt new in the club, it always just felt right. The Sunday runs especially have been very useful for me, covering longer distances going places. Nothing brews a good coffee like a long run, Uxbridge has such nice coffee after a 21k run up there along the canal.
This is the first time I run for a charity and I highly appreciate everyone who has donated to the Motorcycle Outreach and all the supportive messages that have been posted! If you have not yet donated and want to be part of this great cause to help bring healthcare to remote villages in Tanzania and Indonesia, please visit the giving page: WIMA ride and Run: Leiden Marathon 2016
I hope I will be able to make you proud – for sure I’ll do my best!