If you’re at all nervous about the fact that the schedule says next Sunday’s route is 12 miles for the Half Marathoners and 20 miles for the Full Marathoners, welcome to the club. That’s a long distance, and when it’s the first time you’ve taken on that challenge, it can be daunting. That’s why approaching it with the right mindset can make a huge difference.
You don’t have to think about it as a 12 or a 20 mile run. We will be having rest stops roughly every four miles; and you can all do four miles, no problem. You just need to do it 3 times if you are a half marathoner and 5 times if you are a full marathoner.
All kidding aside, those rest stops are there for a reason. It’s your opportunity to recharge your body as well as your mind. When you get to each stop, be sure to hydrate well with both Gatorade and water. Also, starting at the second stop, have a GU at each stop. Take a break; walk around a bit; stretch. Chat with the volunteers and your fellow runners/walkers. Celebrate your success. You’ve made it this far.
In between the rest stops, listen to your body. Pace yourself. Slow down or walk if you need to. It’s not a race. This is about finding the pace that’s right for you. Also, if you do start to feel sharp pain anywhere, please get yourself to the nearest rest stop and wait for a ride back.
As you run/walk from stop to stop, I also encourage you to focus your mind on the positive. Look inside to find the strength to keep going; it’s in there. Visualize yourself achieving your goals. Think about how far you’ve come. Think about how hard you’ve worked. Recognize how much you can accomplish when you dream big and work hard.
You can also look outside yourself for inspiration. See the crowds along the sides rooting for you. And, as you get close to the rest stops, take your earphones out. Hear the volunteers cheering you on. They put a smile on my face every time I feel their energy and encouragement.
Thank you volunteers! We couldn’t do this without you.