There are just two weeks until the Surgical Artistry Modesto Marathon and the only thing I can think is this: I wish I’d done more.
More running. More stretching. More strength training. More mental preparation.
This is the usual thought process as I go into the final days before a big run. I always wish I’d done more.
Unfortunately, marathon training is a lot like life – you can’t go back.
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Don’t you wish you’d flossed more when you were young? Or saved more for retirement? Or worked harder in school?
Well, there’s no use in wishing I was running faster, hadn’t suffered a few injury setbacks or gotten that cold.
I did the best to prepare myself. I trained as smart and hard as I could. I have no regrets.
I’m here now, ready to take on the Modesto Marathon.
I’ve learned so many things in the past five years since I began my fitness journey – about running … and about life. Some thoughts as I go into my fourth marathon:
▪ Keep moving forward. Looking back does you no good. I can say that I wish I had trained harder or eaten better or made myself stronger – but what does that help? I’m here, I’m in pretty good shape and I’m ready to do my best for the 26.2 miles. It may be slow and it may not be pretty, but I will endure and finish. You have to go into every race with no regrets, knowing that you did the best you could.
▪ Enjoy it. You go into any long run – especially a marathon – knowing that it’s going to be difficult. You will struggle at times. You will suffer at times. But there will also be some wonderful moments where you feel good and feel happy. I’ve learned to savor those good moments. When I look back on my past marathons, I mostly remember the good times, not the struggles. A marathon, half-marathon or any other event is what you make it. So make it memorable.
▪ Look up. My Team in Training coach, Rick King, once told me “pavement looks the same wherever you run.” If you find yourself looking down at your feet or the road for 26.2 miles, then you’ve missed the point. I’m running the Modesto Marathon for a reason. I want to see the almond blossoms. I want to see some familiar faces and hear the cheers of a great Modesto crowd. You have to make a conscious decision to look up, soak in the sights and sounds and enjoy the day.
▪ Appreciate others. Marathon day is a special day. Other runners are excited and happy. Volunteers are enthusiastic and supportive. It’s important to take in all the positive vibes you can. I always try to smile and encourage other runners, thank volunteers and wave or give a thumbs up to a supportive onlooker. Again, you will remember all the positives of your race more than the negatives. When I think of my last marathon, I think of all the Team in Training supporters and coaches urging me on much more than the struggle of finishing the race.
So yes, I wish I had done a little better on my marathon training. But I accept where I am, and I am ready to run – and have fun.
Expo at Centre Plaza
The Modesto Marathon Expo is back at Modesto Centre Plaza this year. The expo, which will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on March 28, is free and open to the public.
This year’s expo will be at Harvest Hall in Modesto Centre Plaza, 1000 L St. in Modesto.
Participants can pick up their race packets during the expo. It also features vendor booths and race information.
Reach Jim Silva at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @mission26point2.