Know Your Course
Tomorrow is my last long run before my race November 4th. The plan is 23 miles and I’m crossing my fingers, legs, knees, ankles, and toes that I can meet that goal. My leg still feels off so I’m icing it right now and have already taken two Advil. Please running gods, be with me tomorrow.
I had been debating where to run tomorrow morning – the nice flat Tobacco Trail or a significant portion of the actual marathon course, which is anything but flat. One way is the easy way and the other way is the hard way. I realize what an advantage it is that the course runs practically by my front door so I’m taking the harder route. It’s definitely more difficult but it gets me prepared for the reality that I’ll be facing 3 weeks from now – a challenging 26.2 miles.
A few weeks ago I read a blog post by Predawn Runner about the benefits of scouting out the course beforehand. If you can drive the course great. But if you can run it – even better. In addition to really learning the course, PDR suggests that a few other advantages are testing the hills, looking for tangents, developing your mental game, and visualization. You can read more about these advantages here.
This marathon season I’ve been all about the mind game and how to get it right for race day. I’ve already divided up the course into three parts. The exciting first part (about 10 miles), the lonely tough miles (15 miles on the greenway), and the last mile from the greenway to NC State’s bell tower. Tomorrow I’m going to work on the lonely 15 miles part of the course. What am I going to think about? What is going to keep me motivated? What world problems am I going to solve? 🙂 I like knowing what to expect so I think it’s good idea to be as familiar with the course as possible. And of course a little Eminem will keep me motivated but I need to know how I’m going to handle the hard part. Tomorrow we shall see…
Happy Trails and Happy Running,