Finding My Inspiration
With one week until the Marine Corps Marathon, Belle View resident Mike Adams writes about his last minute preparations
It's hard to believe that in less than one week, I'll be crossing the finish line and receiving my finisher's medal for the 35th Marine Corps Marathon. While I'd like to believe I'll be finishing the race in a little under four hours, it isn't about the time, but rather about enjoying the 26.2 mile journey through Arlington and D.C. with 30,000 of my new found friends. Like I tell the Team in Training runners that I am mentoring this season, whether I win or come in last, I still get the same medal.
Now, at this point, trying to improve on my training is completely pointless. These next few days are all about resting my body, getting my muscles the proper fuel for the run, and preparing myself mentally to run 26.2 miles. This last point is something that I believe a lot of runners underestimate the importance of when getting ready for their distance event. Personally, there are three things I like to do to ensure my mental state matches my physical state.
First, I tell myself to trust my training. I've put in my mile and followed the training regimen, so with a week left to go, there isn't anything I can do to get myself more prepared physically. There will be moments across this week that I have "taper terrors", which occur when I feel lazy for not going out for an eight mile jog before work a few days this week. However, now is not the time to try and make up any missed miles from the season. It's all about resting my body and remembering that I've followed the training schedule. Physically, I'm in the best marathon shape I will be in at this point, so time to let my body rest for the big day.
Second, I like to visualize the race. As silly as it might sound, running through the race course and seeing myself cross that finish line at Iwo Jima reinforces that I can do this. That being said, I know I will have moments of self doubt along the way. However, telling myself that I can finish the race will help push me through those moments and hopefully back into a more positive mindset.
Finally, I will remind myself why I am out here doing something that most of my friends and my family believe is crazy. And that reason is to find a cure for blood cancer. Having training with Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training program the past two race seasons, I know that no matter how much I might be hurting, the individuals that have been diagnosed with blood cancer and are undergoing treatment would switch places with me in a second. I run for those people that aren't able to run, knowing that my few months of hitting the trails helps raise money so they will have the chance to join me. So giving up isn't really an option.
So, with less than a week to go, it's time to get my game face on for the big day. I'll be writing a brief column next Saturday letting you know how I'm preparing across the last 24 hours. I'd love to hear your own race day preparation rituals, so feel free to shoot me an e-mail or leave your thoughts in the comments below.