As a middle-aged rookie, obviously there are all kinds of reasons to stress out about Sunday’s Maple Leaf Indoor Marathon. But there are reasons to feel optimistic as well. I thought I’d jot these down and try to keep them in mind during the race:
1. I’m used to enduring other people’s music.
On some past finishers’ blog reports I’ve read complaints about the music played during this race. (Apparently a few polka tunes even made it onto the playlist one year.) As a “taxi mom” who’s constantly subjected to her passengers’ radio station surfing, I’ve learned to put up with (or ignore) other people’s musical selections.
2. Like most women who’ve been through childbirth a time or four (in my case), I’ve got a reasonably high pain tolerance.
Possible issues include periodic heel pain and something going on in my lower shin area. I don’t expect either of these to be a deal breaker (knock on wood).
3. A battle-tested stomach.
Though my voracious appetite is a constant concern – I’m always wary of shifting into “stress eating” mode the night before a race – I’ve demonstrated the ability to “run through” gastrointestinal distress on a 15-mile training run.
4. Marathons are a multi-tasker’s friend.
While it’s true you can’t address Christmas cards while on the run, any problem that can be visualized is fair game. I do a lot of planning and brainstorming on long runs, and I almost always feel that I made progress on something besides my training.
5. Mile-monitoring alternatives provide mental relief
Finally, having used several different methods to measure my long runs — miles, laps, hours on the treadmill, and years (in terms of a timeline representing the 204 required laps) – I’ve now got several different “monitors” to access if one is giving me trouble.
As I was finishing up my last long (18-mile) run a couple of weeks ago, I was bogged down by the lap count on my “clicker” as well as the “lap year” in my mind. But I hadn’t been thinking about miles at all, so it was refreshing to switch my focus to miles remaining (1) while visualizing that last mile before home on my usual route.