The last time I attempted a 20-mile run, I failed. I began to question my ability to complete the marathon. I was not in a happy place.
This past Saturday, I attempted the 20-mile run again. It was my last shot for a long run before the marathon, with time to let my body recover. All told, I did 18.25 miles. I would have finished the whole 20 if I hadn't started developing a blister. So I'm disappointed that I didn't complete my goal, but I'm happy that I got the blister a few days ago instead of at the marathon. Now I know where I need to put some moleskin when I run the race.
There is a world of difference running in the cool. Never again will I attempt to train for a marathon in the full heat of the summer. Really, that's just stupid. If I do this again and need to train in the summer, I'll buy a treadmill. If it weren't for the blister, I could have kept running for hours.
So, when the marathon comes around in a week and a half, I think I'm ready to do it. Yes, I'm nervous about it. I' slow, but I think I can beat the bus. I might see the bus, but I think I can beat it. It's another eight miles than I've done on my longest training run, but I think I'll be OK.
More than anything, I'm looking forward to running this with other people. As bad as the heat has been for my training, it wasn't anywhere near as bad as doing the training alone. The loneliest I've ever felt has been while running, at around 16 miles. And it takes hours after finishing a run and being around people again to shake it. At the marathon, I'll be running with ccohoon (who has my explicit permission to leave me in the dust if I'm too slow for him) and tens of thousands of other people. Even being surrounded by people I don't know will be better than what I've faced in training.
So to recap: I'm confident about my ability to complete the marathon. Training in the Southern heat is stupid. It's lonely after about 15 miles.