I haven't posted in a while. Since my 16 mile run my general motivation has been a bit lower and I'm struggling to maintain the same level of enthusiasm about the training at the moment. Running 16 miles felt like 'a really long way' (tm). And somewhere in my mind I signed up to run 'a really long way' and so something clicked and part of me felt like I had achieved my goal. Even though it's actually 10 miles short of my actual goal. 26.2 miles sounds quite ridiculous to me right now. Way beyond my ability. For the first time, I can imagine that I won't make it and that thought is making all running tougher than it has been up to now.
So in an effort to pump up my spirits I'm going to focus on the course itself and imagine running it. There is lots of information on the website for the marathon. They have details about the brand and flavor of sports drink they will have on the course, (citrus flavored Cytomax), confirmation that there will be port-a-potties (or port-a-loos as we call them in Ireland) every mile, information for spectators about where to cheer and how to get there. Because this marathon is one in the series of rock and roll marathons, there is live music every mile. Here is the list of bands that will be playing and here are the details of where they will be along the course.
Most importantly here is the map of the course itself. You can see that we start quite far south of downtown Seattle and the first 9 miles are all heading north, part of which will be along the shores of Lake Washington. On the elevation chart, there is just one elevation challenge in the first third of the marathon between mile 4 and 5. At mile 9 the half and full marathon courses split and the full marathoners head up and over Lake Washington bridge, from which I'll get this beautiful view. At the end of the bridge we do a U turn and go back to join the half marathoners again. Miles 12-14 have us heading west towards the finish line only to take a sharp right, to go north, past the space needle, through a tunnel, up to Aurora Ave bridge. Spectators are recommended to hang out at the mile 14 marker so I'll probably see my parents and Sean at this point. Hopefully that will help make up for having to leave the tantalizingly close finish line. Getting onto Aurora Ave bridge looks like it will be a challenge. There is a big elevation bump that lasts about a mile from 16.5 to 17.5. Once we cross Aurora Ave bridge we do another U-turn and have to run down the hill we ran up on the way there. Once again we head back through the tunnel towards the finish line, only to pass right by it at 22.5 mile and continue heading south. We make our final U-turn at 24.2 and this time when we run to the finish line it really is the finish. Luckily there are few elevation changes from mile 23 onwards.
At the finish there is a big concert with live music and food and water. Later that evening, Team in Training throw a big celebration party for all participants (if you can stay awake long enough).
If anyone who has run a marathon has advice for getting past my current fatigue and reduced self confidence I would really appreciate it...