One month from today, I will take on the beast once more, the 26.2-mile beast that is the marathon.
On Feb. 6 I'll run Marathon No. 3, the Surf City Marathon.
Am I nervous? Not really, actually. I mean, I'll have the usual pre-race nerves and jitters as the day approaches I imagine, but standing here one month out, I'm looking forward to it with anticipation, not with dread. Last year, I wasn't dreading it necessarily but I was a ball of nerves often in the weeks leading up to the marathon.
Part of what calms me, of course, is that I've already run not only a marathon but this marathon. I now the course (it's not that great of a course, to be honest), I know what to expect in terms of the mental monsters (conquered them along the beach path last year) and I know what to expect in terms of pre- and post-race festivities (the expo sucked because it rained a ton last year; lots of crowds on PCH after race).
Also part of what is calming me is that I just ran 20 miles (20.11 to precise :) ) and I felt good afterward. Well, in relative terms I suppose. I felt much better after this 20-mile run than I did after the 20-miler I ran before San Francisco, both mentally and physically.
I have to keep myself grounded though. I can't approach this race with any sort of overconfidence. I have a lot going for me but all that can come back to bite me in my arse if I think that that will make things easier. There hasn't been anything easy about either of my two marathons and I don't expect that to change ahead of Marathon 3, Marathon 23 or Marathon 43 or whatever.
The experience I've amassed has to work for me, not against me. But so far, if these lack of nerves are any indication, it's working well already.