Ok, I admit it. I was nervous. One of the benchmarks of marathon training is the 20-mile run and Sunday was the last long run on my training schedule. When did that happen? When did the Wineglass Marathon become just two weeks away? A chorus of, “but I’m not ready” started to hum in my brain as I filled up my water bottles and opened multiple packages of Honey Stinger waffles. This was the capstone in my last big week of training. I wanted it to be good.
The weather was perfect with clear skies and temperatures in the 50s. My route had some hills to it, but nothing crazy, in line with the Wineglass route which overall is a negative elevation with a few short rolling hills in for good measure. I took off and tried to keep myself in check. The only “goal” for this run was to run 20 miles – there was no pace expectation. Additionally, I practiced my race-day nutrition and hydration, following the Wineglass map which indicates that there are water stops every two miles. Since I plan to take a sip at each and every one, I replicated the same on my run.
As per usual, the first 10 miles were pretty nice. I felt good. A little tired, but good. I noticed my mind started to worry about the second 10 miles. Last time, those were hard. Really hard. But I forced myself to focus. And frankly the mental game was harder than the actually running on this day. I took in a deep breath and looked at the beautiful day, the clear sky, the bright sun, the start of fall colors on the country route. I had the song