As I expected, Saturday's run was a lot of fun. There was a real sense of celebration among all of the pace groups. Everyone was in a great mood mingling around before we started, and when groups passed each other on the trail there were a lot of high-fives and words of encouragement.
It was a nice change, as the last few weeks I had been running we had all been grinding so hard on the 16, 18 or 20 milers that everyone kind of kept to themselves. Which is OK, it's hard work. But now that we are at this point, the hard part (except the marathon of course) is behind us.
It's been a good summer, and summer isn't all the way ready to let go. Man, it was so humid on the trails, I'm glad we were only running 8 miles! Hopefully the race is a little better, OK, a lot better!
Still, it was fun to talk with everyone and reflect on how the last few months have gone. As I have said before, as a veteran of several marathons, each time you train for one is different. Some are enjoyable, others are not as much.
To a person, all of us said we really enjoyed training together. It was a lot of fun, and I definitely plan on doing it again. It's good to have that support.
Speaking of, one of the runners, Alli, is running her first marathon and was starting to get a little stressed. Over the course of the last mile I ran alongside her and just gave her a lot of words of encouragement. The main thing is to just believe at the starting line that you are going to do it. At the same time, it's important to look around, take it in, and have fun.
Most people only run a marathon once, the number of people who run two, three or beyond grows exponentially smaller. Outside of my friends Wally and Jay, I can't think of anyone else I know who has run more marathons than me. I'm not saying that to be boastful, I'm saying that to stress the point that most people stop at one -- so if you are stopping at one, make the one count, you know?
It's easy to get stressed or overwhelmed, no matter how many marathons you have run. When those thoughts start to come to the surface, you have to confidently push them into a corner. At this point it's just time to line up and run, and if you have done the work, it's in the bag.
So according to the schedule, I have a couple of runs left before the big day this week. Let's get them in the bag and bring on the weekend!