Rules of the game:
1. All players will allow themselves to go up to 10 of these maladies before you call your time goal off.
2. All players must have a time goal.
3. All players have trained commiserate with distance and time goal.
4. All players are following the pre-marathon preparation.
Disclaimers: game is not valid if the following conditions occur: Red flag warm temperatures, pre-existing injury, oversleeping
Marathon morning; 3 hours before official start and already one challenge on your plate could it be #?
1. NO SLEEP – strategy: think: the miles will go quicker since you can’t remember all the details along the mileage way. Oh; and the runner’s adage: “all is fine as long as you slept normally the night before.
2. STARTED TO FAST – strategy: think: Yes! If I stop for 20 seconds and stretch I can begin again and get back my pace.
3. DIARRHEA – strategy: think: I only have to go 4 hours or so and I have plenty of fuel in me, plus fuel is available on the way. Intellectually I know I have enough fat and/or lactic acid to burn the last 6-8 miles along with fuel based hydration stops.
4. RAIN – strategy: think: I want to begin dry so pack dry shoes and dry running clothes and change into them right before the race start- with your umbrella over your head.
5. BLISTER IS FORMING EARLY DURING THE RACE – strategy: think: I cannot run with an open blister. Immediately take the self-adhesive moleskin strip out of your mini-carry bag and adhere it to the area of friction. Also carry a small portion of Vaseline substance as well.
6. OFF PACE AT HALF-WAY POINT- strategy: think: Yeah! I must have gone easier than my trained marathon pace so my last 4 miles I will be stronger than ever. (No…do not think my last 6 miles, that is not realistic) Reflect: many people lose up to 20 minutes during those last 4 miles.
7. MENTAL & PHYSICAL WEAKNESS AT MILE 14- strategy: think: I remember these running “demons” in past long runs. This is when the body transfers the use of carbohydrates for fuel and goes to body fat. Remember, those few miles during this conversion can make you feel sluggish and mentally down in the dumps.
Think: of the strength you gain at the end from slowing a bit down for 3 miles or so. (ever hear of negative splits?)
8. MUSCLE CRAMP- strategy: think: I have been feeling an increasing bit of tightness in that muscle area and it is beginning to cramp. Stop and massage deeply that area; use friction to warm it up so the muscle fibers are almost back in line. You may have to alter your gait a bit. Remember muscle cramps happen late in a race and the pain will keep you alert during those last miles.
9. MISSED A MUCH NEEDED WATER STOP – strategy: think: I have run in so many conditions and trained in temperatures which have created near heat exhaustion. A well hydrated body can go another 3 miles or so without “that” missed water stop.
10. PREMATURE COLLAPSE POINT – strategy: think: I have been in this collapse zone before and if I stop for 3-10 seconds and walk, I can finish that last 1/4 mile with regained momentum.
Lynn Gray, a runner for over 45 years, 12 Boston’s, and over 90 marathons has had to face each of these more than once. She has found mental and physical strategies to overcome all of them and still reach her time goal. She also would recant: What else can go wrong????