May 16 - Day 1 We are officially 169 days out from the NYC marathon, so I decided that today would be the day I began my marathon training. Well not entirely. I have yet to devote myself to a specific training program (any recommendations?), but I wanted to begin as soon as possible.
Most training programs are designed for 12, 16, or 18 weeks of intense training. Even though I can physically prepare myself within that timeframe, I want to set aside time to begin my mental training as well. The 26.2 miles is every bit as mental as it is physical.
Around mile marker 20, most runners hit the wall. The wall isn't a physical wall, but the point at which an endurance athlete has been going for so long that their bodies shut down. They can't continue. Glycogen stores are almost entirely depleted and the prospect of running another 10km to finish is not warmly welcomed.
That last 6.2 miles (10 km) is what makes and breaks most marathoners. After 20 miles, it becomes a mental game more so than a physical one. Begin with the end in mind. Because the end of the race is mostly mental, I wanted a head start in my training to condition my mental state first.
Today I decided to do a ceremonial run.
I ran 10k today in an attempt begin with the end in mind. I woke up and casually jogged to a pitiful 57 minute finish (still better than the 1 hour 33 minutes it took me to run/walk the Monument Avenue 10k 2 years ago).
If I can finish a 10k on my first day of training, there is no reason why I can't after 169 days of training. I have ceremonially embedded the mental confidence necessary to get past the wall. To finish.