The lessons I've learned...
After 6 months of training, I now have just 2 weeks left until the marathon. Typically, I have my first cold of the winter and any last minute training has gone out the window! I'm sure these moments are sent to teach us something... So here is what I've learned:
Plan for the unexpected
I have trained and trained and trained, but I didn't factor in that I would get ill right now! Whilst I don't feel confident at all on the surface, deep down I am pretty sure I've done the ground work. There's very little else I can do now other than go with the flow on the day and give it my best.
Don't be too hard on yourself
My biggest lesson! I am my own worse critic but this isn't always a good thing. Undermining your self confidence will do you no good when faced with a challenge. Instead remind yourself of all the things you have achieved and acknowledge how far you have already come AND accept the things that are out of your control.
Food is fuel
The revelation of this has changed my relationship with food completely. It is something to enjoy too, but especially during times of extreme physical exertion it is your fuel. You wouldn't drive a car with an empty petrol tank and expect it to get you home? So for the next 2 weeks I am fueling up, hoping this tank will get me to the finish line.
A positive mental attitude is like stoke to the fire your food gives you. However with out it the fire is likely to smoulder and die! I've had plenty of moments when I've thought 'I can't do this' but somehow a little voice has whispered 'go for it'.
Never under estimate how important support is, with everything in life! There have been times when I've been fiercely independent taking help from no one. Whilst those moments gave me inner confidence that I can go it alone, the support that people give you is equally as strengthening. Without the encouragement of my training buddy, best friend and partner I would never have finished those hideous head-wind training runs!
So now I need to take these lessons and use them....