Next up in the Marine Corps Marathon countdown series: tips and tricks for mentally preparing for miles 11 through 15, when runners start to head through Potomac Park to Hains Point, then turn around to head back into downtown DC for a loop around the National Mall.
It’s part of an ongoing series leading up to the marathon, and it’s based on a chapter from an old edition of Runner’s World’s “Guide to Running,” which advocates visualizing the race in manageable chunks during your taper to prepare to run the race in manageable chunks come race day.
Today’s exercise: Imagine congratulating yourself for finishing the long downhill through Georgetown leading up to mile 10, which means you’ve made it through the race’s two significant hills (there’s the quick, .2-mile ascent to the finish line, but we’ll worry about that later). You still feel great, though you’re working a little harder now. You’re holding your pace, and are excited about the half-marathon point near Hains Point. You’re enjoying the bucolic park and water views on Ohio Drive, and are looking forward to looping back into the city. You’ve taken in plenty of water and PowerAde, and can grab a Clif shot just before the 13 mile marker. You’re feeling calm, confident and strong.
Study the course map for more information.
Check out visualization techniques for miles one through five here.
Click here for visualization techniques for miles six through 10.
A few other cool resources: The marathon has an awesome-looking app that lets friends and family track you from their smart phones Also, if you’re worried that some of the ouchies you’ve incurred over 26.2 miles might be something more serious than just muscle soreness, the Washington, D.C., physical therapy office Sports and Spinal Physical Therapy is offering free post-Marine Corps Marathon injury clinics. Runners can register for the clinics by contacting SSPT at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-463-7611.
Speaking of injuries, it turns out I will not get to see the doctor about my weird, maybe-broken toe before the Marine Corps 10K on Sunday. But for the first time since I whacked my toe, hard, on a planter three and a half weeks ago, I ran yesterday—and it felt OK! The new plan is to jog the race on Sunday, and just see how that goes. I’ve got a doctor appointment next Tuesday, so if anything goes awry on Sunday, at least I’ll be able to attend to it quickly after the fact.