Strava Marathon (Bellingham, MA)
Finish Time: 3:46
Temp: 36 degrees
Conditions: Sunny with Some Wind
Run For: Ronnie
26.2 For You – Race to 50! Running outdoors in January here in New England can be tricky. The weather really can be super cold, snowy, icy or even mild and great. Fortunately the weather yesterday was perfect for running. A few days ago the temperature never got above 6 degrees. Needing to run a marathon in January, I was running out of days so Sunday turned out to be the day. I started out feeling a little tired, mainly from doing 14 miles the day before at the TCNE group training run in Brockton, but was excited to be back on the 26.2 journey. Things felt good and I ran a pretty consistent pace through the first 10 miles. After fueling with some Tailwind I started to mentally struggle knowing 16 miles were still left to run. Physically I felt fine but my mind was having a hard time grasping that I wasn’t even to the half way point yet.
As a coach, one of the running related topics I talk about is having the right mindset heading into an endurance run. Running 26.2 miles is just as hard physically as it is mentally. Having run the number of marathons I’ve run I know all too well that it takes toughness from both the body and the mind. Some days it’s hard physically to push through and others, like yesterday, the mental struggle proves to be harder.
That being said, all mental struggles when running are different and this one wasn’t necessarily a “bad one” but it made for a tougher run. The weather was great, I felt perfectly fine but I also felt like I’d been running a lot longer than I actually had. I had that dreaded treadmill feeling, which if you are a runner and have ever done a long run, or really any run, on the treadmill you know what I’m talking about. You start running and feel like you have been running for 30 minutes only to look down and see that just 5 minutes have gone by. It can get to you mentally and you feel a little discouraged. That was how I felt running yesterday and the idea of 16 more miles just seemed daunting.
One of the questions I get asked the most about running marathons is “what do you think about when you run?” My answer always varies because it’s never the same thing all the time. I think about all sorts of things but when I started to struggle yesterday, for some reason, I let my mind go blank. I honestly didn’t think about anything. I didn’t let my mind wonder, I didn’t plan out how to make it through the rest of the run, I just put one foot in front of the other and moved forward and didn’t think about a thing. I didn’t really zone out, but I didn’t focus in on anything either, I was just there. I guess it is kind of hard to explain but I just ran with nothing going on. I didn’t think about anything, I was just moving, running along as the miles went by.
I didn’t really started to focus back in on things until about mile 22 when I started to determine how many miles were left and where I could run to make sure I hit 26.2 at the end of my driveway.
Post run I felt good, just tired physically and honestly I felt good mentally too. I never once thought about quitting or that I wasn’t going to make it. I also wouldn’t say this run was hard and made me feel bad. Sometimes there is a mental struggle that happens and you just have to figure out how to get through it.
Being able to run 26.2 for Uncle Ronnie and to include him on this journey made me extremely happy. I am beyond honored when people allow me to share their story and run for them, as I truly believe awareness plays a key role in helping us get closer to a cure. Ronnie has had his struggles with Crohn’s disease and his life was forever changed by it. He has supported me from day one and will continue to support all I do for those who fight these diseases.
One thing that is different with 26.2 For You – Race to 50, is that I changed the IBD Warriors to IBD Heroes. The warriors are still out there and I continue to know they are all still fighting as hard as ever. I wanted to change them to heroes because in my eyes these warriors are all heroes, especially to me. Uncle Ronnie is an IBD Hero and I’m happy to have run 26.2 for him.
This 26.2 was for you Ronnie! 26.2 For You!