All mental with 10 Days to go!
OMTOM participant, Rhea Koch, is trained and ready to tackle the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon Ultra course on 15 April. But it's not all smooth sailing, as her internal dialogue is going into overdrive...
I should be feeling confident, right? I should be saying: “I trained hard, I trust my training and I've got this”
“You’ve done it before” is what the other people say when I voice my anxiety. “Exactly!” is my barely audible response. “It is because I know exactly how far 56 km’s are!”
This is when the inner dialogue starts. I have two opposing voices in my head. I want to share this with other nervous (ULTRA-) marathoners just so they know they are not alone when they experience this. This is pretty much what is going on in my mind during the countdown to OMTOM Ultra:
“You are in much better shape than you were last year!”
“Am I? Am I really? I know I was a wreck last year, but what about this dull ache I have in my buttocks, the slight pull in my Achilles tendon and tension in the hips and the cramp in my shoulder.”
“You had pains last year, but still managed to finish...”
“I almost DIED last year. Capital letters DIED. I had cramps. I threatened the 7-hour bus driver with murder if he should leave me behind”
“You loved the race. Remember how you felt when you saw the beautiful ocean at Chapman’s Peak?”
“It was because I was praying so much for strength and courage that it blocked the pain from my legs so it couldn’t reach my brain.”
“For crying out loud, you even had a coach this year! A coach that finished a full Ironman this weekend, so he knows what he’s talking about!”
“I know, but did we really do enough long runs, since he had us focusing on cross-training, hill-work and speed-work?”
“Your friends will be with you through this.”
“Will they? What if they feel great and I feel weak and they have to wait for me and I can’t keep up and I’m running all alone for seven hours?
“You will start to feel better and stronger this week when you begin to taper”
“Is it that time already? Should I add a few more kilometres? Isn’t it to late to start taper? Should I rest more? Should I eat more? Should I drink more magnesium?”
“You will not quit. You WILL NOT QUIT!”
“Finally! We agree on something! Even if I have to crawl over the finish, I will be there before the final gun goes off!”