The Prague Marathon is less than two weeks away! I am starting to get so excited, but of course, I’m nervous too. Since I’m trying to up my mental game, I decided to write a post that focuses on the positive and tell you about all of the stuff I’m looking forward to the most! Trust me – there’s a lot.
1. Visiting a new country: Of course, I’m ecstatic that this race will bring me to a new country! The Czech Republic will be the 26th country I’ve visited, and I’ve heard so many wonderful things about it. Everyone who has been to Prague has assured me I will absolutely love it. I’m pretty pumped for views like this:
2. Testing out new electrolyte drinks: This might seem obscure, but remember when we talked about what you need to know if you’re running an international race? Well, I really love trying out the local version of Gatorade – whatever it may be called. My favorite is still the Lucozade I had in the Dublin Marathon! I don’t know what they’ll have in Prague, but I look forward to finding out. And no – I’m not prepared enough to bring my own electrolyte drink in case I don’t like the one on the course. You’d think with how sensitive my stomach is, I would be, but if I don’t like it, I’ll just drink water. #sosorrysolazy
3. Going full Captain America: The day before the marathon, there is a 5k shakeout run for families, dogs, etc. It’s a fun time to showcase your country’s colors and take in the huge diversity of the crowd! Bobbi and I will be going full Captain America during the 5k. We have our outfits planned out and they are…well…you’ll have to wait and see. But just envision red, white, and blue everything and probably a lot of chanting of U-S-A! This is, of course, assuming our president does nothing too embarrassing and doesn’t cause an international incident in the days immediately preceding the race. We are bringing back up outfits just in case, for what I feel like are obvious reasons.
4. Meeting the elites: RunCzech has an incredible racing team that lives and trains in the Czech Republic. Team members are recruited from all over the world! As part of my spot on the press team, I’ll be able to speak with some of the elite athletes and hopefully find out more about what it’s like to run on a professional level! It’s honestly something I can’t really fathom, so I’m fascinated to find out more. Since many are from different countries, I’m also interested in learning what it’s been like for them to leave their families behind in pursuit of their dreams. I can’t wait to cheer them on during the race, too!
5. Pushing myself mentally: Of course, I know that any marathon is a huge physical challenge. This one will be, too. However, I’m actually looking forward to pushing myself mentally. I have long left out the mental aspect of training and just relied on my body to get me through races in whatever time I happened to cross the finish line. I know there will come a point in this race where I am exhausted and ready for it to be over. I will want to slow down, and I probably will somewhat. But I really want to push myself to not give up. I want to do my best not only to run well, but more importantly, to have fun and stay present. It’s so easy to zone out when running gets hard and just follow the person in front of you (I did that during my 20 miler!). I don’t think that’s a terrible strategy, if I’m being honest. But this is the Prague Marathon. I want to remember every step and challenge myself to really enjoy every mile, no matter how badly they hurt. Easier said than done, of course!The #PragueMarathon is just over a week away! @thetrexrunner shares what she's most excited about. @runczech Click To Tweet
6. Running through Old Town Prague: Castles? Historic cathedrals? Homes and buildings dating back hundreds of years? Yes, please. That’s what I’ll be seeing as we run through the streets of Old Town Prague! The race starts in the Old Town and winds through for a few miles before heading out into the rest of the city. It later loops back through, then heads back out, ultimately finishing the race right in the heart of the Old City! I don’t want to get my hopes up too high, but it looks pretty incredible.
7. Hearing the cheers in Czech: This is super nerdy, but one of the things I love most about international races is hearing people cheer for me in another language and/or with different phrases than I’m used to. In Dublin, it was “Well done!” In Jamaica, it was “Everything is irie!” I find it so incredibly charming and it just makes the experience even more fun. Of course, if people are cheering in Czech, I will have absolutely no idea what they are saying, but I am sure I will be thoroughly charmed nonetheless.
8. Setting a goal and going for it: Over the course of this training cycle, I’ve really pushed myself during several races, including the Spartanburg Half Marathon. Still, I sometimes resist setting goals – especially time goals – because I know how hard I am on myself when I don’t achieve them. I have a tendency to not see the forest for the trees, so to speak. This will be a special race in so many ways, but I also want to challenge myself to set a concrete time goal. I haven’t decided what that is yet, but I will share before the race! Whether I hit that goal or not – and there’s one big variable there called my spine – I want this to be a race that I enjoy. For me, hitting a time goal and having fun are mutually exclusive. I want to try and find a way to do both, for a change!
9. Running with Bobbi: Although I’ve known Bobbi for probably 6 years at this point, we’ve really become especially close in the last year. Having her coach me through this race has built our friendship so much, and the long runs we’ve been able to do together have been a blast. I’m beyond thrilled that she is coming to Prague and running with me! While I know that I could do the marathon by myself, I’m really glad I won’t be. This is going to be such a special day, and it will be even better having someone to share it with! She is so positive and encouraging, and I know that even if I threaten to puke on her during the race (which has happened before), I know she will not hold it against me. That’s a good running buddy, right there!
10. Crossing that finish line: When I started training for the marathon about 4 months ago, I wasn’t sure I would be crossing the start line, much less the finish line. While nothing is guaranteed, I feel good about where my fitness is and how my back has felt these last few weeks. There is a huge part of me that knows how incredibly unpredictable my back is, but I am confident I will cross that finish line on May 7 barring some type of complete disaster. This race is a celebration of making it through training relatively unscathed – something I couldn’t have imagined a year ago – and running that victory lap. After all, it wasn’t very long ago that I thought I’d never run another marathon! Now, I can’t wait to feel that medal hanging around my neck.
LEAVE A COMMENT: What do you most look forward to during a race?