You’ll feel amazing, when you pass the goal and reach for you medal! I promise! But there is also a longer distance that is new, if it’s you first marathon. Training usually goes up to 30km. Maybe also 32km, but not more. This has a specific reason: The time you’ll need to recover from a higher distance will take much longer! Too long, if you have to resolve more runs for the marathon. Even after 30km it took me 2 or 3 days to recover! Even so, running is much more exhausting for your body than you think. There are a lot of processes going on in your body, while you run for such a long time. Your body will take a lot longer to recover, than your mind.
If felt quite good after the marathon and I was also able to go to town, to get my wristband branded with my racing time. As I’ve seen a lot of other runners, it seems quite obvious, that your legs won’t necessarily work the way, they always do. It looks quite funny to watch some runners having walking problems. It feels quite a lot like after you’ve skated for some hours and then try to walk again, just for a longer time.
As I’ve already said, there will be about ten or twelve kilometers more to run. This doesn’t seem like quite the distance. But if you remember your first runs, that were longer than maybe 5km, you’ll get the feeling. For me it felt like the first time I ran about 7km, or the time I hit 21km. But training is a whole other dimension than training.
On the side of the road, there will be people that will try to motivate you and go like: “Yey, only 6km left”. By this time, there will be one about every kilometer. So isn’t it great to hear this? Not for me! My legs had hurt a lot, and I didn’t even want to know the distance that was left. The pain had hit me at the 35. kilometer. This was a new record! I had never run that far!
And as it seems, that the distance always gets smaller, you’ll begin to think you were closer than you actually are. This is why I didn’t think it was helpful to hear the distance that I still had to run. “Hey, only two kilometer left!”, was quite the kill. I just thought like: “No way, not two more kilometers, I can’t do it!”. But I did anyway.
While you pass the last few kilometers, you should try to concentrate and think about something else and not about how far you still have to go. Ignore the people on the side yelling. But don’t hate them, for they have been quite helpful and motivating for about the first 35km. To answer a question, you would might ask by now: No, it is definitely not as hard as described, so don’t get demotivated. By the time you hit that number, your body will be full of endorphin, so don’t worry! And remember: The goal is the journey, not the finish line!
Lots of love,