|Photo credit goes to owner of the picture|
This time around, I'm much more sure of myself. I have a lot more confidence in my abilities and limits. While I'm not going to be posting any fantastic time, I'll be happy even just taking 30 seconds off my previous (and only) best time, I at least know what to expect from this demanding race. Have self confidence, give the distance the respect it demands and things should work out fine, of course, you've also got to put in the training required for it.
That said and done, barring any (touchwood) injuries, I'm all eager for race day. I remember last year, I was standing on the outside of the barricades and watching with pure envy at all the full marathoners lined up and raring to go. I was doing the half marathon then. I was wondering what was going through the minds of all those runners just before being flagged off. They all looked so confident of themselves. All raring to go. They made it look like running a 42k was something they did everyday (for some of them, it probably was).
This year I'll be in the pen with them and I wonder how I'll look to someone on the other side. I remember during my first full at the StandChart, KF Chong came to me and said,
'Nick, you look so tense, chill a little'
I was so wound up before race start from worry and self doubt that it showed on my face. I guess you couldn't blame me since it as my first time attempting a 42k, something I never thought I would ever do back then. But even though I developed cramps during the race, I came away from it happy, had loads of fun (well, as much fun that one could possibly have from a 42k run) and with much more confidence in my abilities than when I started the race.
All that aside, I plan to run a very conservative race. It's only my second marathon after all. Maybe after I've done 5 or 6 more will I consider trying to make it a little more competitive for myself. I'm out to have fun for now and soak in as much experience from this as possible. I foresee a wet and cool race, judging by the current weather spell, which is a good thing since night races are always pretty humid.
The wife and my best buddy Sean, will be running the half and I'm rooting for both of them to do some good running. I'm especially proud of the wife. For a non runner as of two and a half years ago (in fact she hated running), she's come a very long way since then. She's put in a lot of hard work to improve her running and the improvement shows with the happy look she has on her face after each run. I won't be surprised she'll be lining up with me one day very soon at the start line of a full marathon. I'm looking forward to that day :D
That said, it's going to be a busy week for me next week with loads of work to complete before race day. Though it's pretty late but I've started tapering off for now and might just squeeze in a short easy run (if time permits) somewhere in the middle of the week and that's it. Let's hope all that hard work pays off during the run next week.
All the best to each and every runner for the PNM. Go out and have fun, loads of it.