Telling Myself I Can Do This All By Myself
Visualization is key to my racing success. Seeing the New York City Marathon course in my mind as I virtually ran through the streets of New York, I pictured different scenarios and how I would handle them throughout my eighteen weeks of training.
Additionally, I ran the first 20 miles of the race twice and the last ten miles of the race during my last two key runs before the scheduled race. I couldn’t have been more prepared.
I knew that if everything went well on race day this race was mine to be had. By now we know that the NYCM won’t be mine until November of 2013 and that I had a less than stellar run in Richmond in November.
Of the many things that went wrong in Richmond, only one of them was truly within my control… my thoughts. Aside from being sick the week leading up to the 26.2 mile run, if my thoughts had been in a better place, maybe I could have turned that day around and made lemonade.
This week I realized the majority of the course for Run for the Red is not accessible to spectators. I also learned that only 985 runners completed the race in 2013.
This race is one where I’m going to be all on my own and can’t depend on friends or pace groups to get me by.
Because I struggle the most on my long runs I’m visualizing being out on the roads of PA alone jamming along to the songs in my head and focusing on zoning out and honing in on running my own race at my own pace.
Initially, this thought freaked me out. Then I remembered that the very first marathon I ran in 1999 was spectator free, wasn’t closed to traffic and I ran all by myself (I even ran off course for a bit because I didn’t know where to go). If I did it then without even properly training, I can do it now. It feels a little bit like a return to my roots except now I’m wearing luon not cotton.
How do you mentally prepare for a challenging race? Do you like running long distances by yourself or with a friend?