This week I ran 45 miles. That's not only high mileage, but most of them have been high quality miles, including a 5K race. My bones are tired. I've been through this before, so I recognize the conflicting feelings. On the one foot, I am in great shape. The summer of hard training is resulting in strong runs, fast times, consistent effort. On the other foot, everything hurts a little and I feel the extra miles of the late season training schedule in my muscles and joints. I know that right now, I could run a great race with a time to be proud of. I feel strong. But, the marathon isn't for another month, and I worry that by then I'll be an exhausted, injured wreck unable to follow through to the finish. The training has built me up, but now it might wear me down.
Just like the running which has gotten longer and harder all summer, my mental battles are tougher a month out from the race than earlier in the year. I keep reminding myself that this is all expected and normal. I will get tired, but in another week I will start to taper. The taper will allow me time to rest and recover. On race day, the weather will be cooler, my muscles and my mind will be fresh, and the adrenaline will kick start the day and send me flying. I just have to be patient, stick to my plan, and just keep running.