31 days out from the Melbourne Marathon. I’ve already started tapering because I’m doing a long taper. So I’m still running 70+km this week but the long runs are getting shorter, the easy runs are getting shorter and even the speed work is getting shorter. The surge of energy hasn’t quite kicked in yet. I’m waiting for that to happen. I’m at the I can’t possibly do this stage. It’s too hard. It’s too far. Only a mad person would volunteer to do this. FOR FUN. I run at marathon pace and can’t even conceive of holding it for so long. It doesn’t seem remotely possible. And I’ve got no excuses because I’ve run every session in my training cycle, six days a week for the last 11 weeks. Which creates a sizeable amount of pressure on the day.

I’m plagued by things like – should I pick an aggressive pace or a conservative pace? What happens if something goes horribly wrong? What happens if I put in all that training and the result is disappointing? Why is there a hill at 36km what demon of geography would do that to me? What if I’m actually incapable of maintaining the mental strength to run on my own and fall apart like I did in the 50km? A thousand million doubts that swirl around.

I know where the weak spot is. And it’s about 18km-24km. The point where you are saying WOOHOO! HALF WAY. And then HOLY CRAP. ONLY HALF WAY. In many ways I’ve had the perfect training lead up. I haven’t been sick. I haven’t had any injuries. It has all gone, pretty¬†perfectly. Which is totally freaking me out.

But really, that’s just all the crazy head games that happen as you edge closer. I almost have to convince myself that I can’t do it to get into the head space to prove to myself that I can. And what is the goal? Sure I have a time in mind but that’s not the real goal. The goal was always to find how far I could push my limit. And one way or another I’ll find out.

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Zoey Dowling

Written by: Zoey Dowling

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  1. Thinking of you - I know you will smash this event not matter what time you run because it's about finishing the race and you will definitely do that ! Have the best day !