With one week remaining before the Boston Marathon your focus will likely be entirely on the task of hand. All other responsibilities will likely suffer but you should try to maintain balance in your daily life. This is a very common tug-of-war that practically every runner experiences.
The best approach is to try to make this week as normal as possible. Sleep is extremely important and will become more critical as the week progresses because of the likelihood of the stress and pressure you feel. The most important night of sleep is Saturday night, you cannot count on a restful night of sleep on Sunday evening. Cross training is a great option in maintaining your fitness without risking an injury by running.
Sending hand-written thank you letters to all of your supporters is a great well to fill you time and to fully express your appreciation for their support. Reading the cards, letters and e-mails of support that you’ve received will help reinforce how fortunate you are to be running Boston and should be instrumental in sustaining your motivation. Nothing significant in life ever accomplished alone and this is certainly reinforced when running Boston as a charity runner.
Reflecting on the entire scope of support and encouragement that you’ve received the past six months, coupled with the realization that your fundraising efforts will provide significant educational opportunities to so many, should be all the motivation and inspiration that you need to make it through the final miles of Boston.
Take an extremely deep breath whenever you feel the pressure of the final week and take a moment to reflect on how fortunate you are to be running the 2011 Boston Marathon. This should be an exciting week, possibly the most exciting week of your life. I love that the few hours it takes you to make the trek from Hopkinton to Boston will likely be a brief period of time that will be constantly referenced throughout your life.
During that short window of time you will learn so much about the human spirit. You will also learn about yourself by being provided a glimpse into your soul like never before and seeing precisely where your weaknesses and strengths are …you will be changed by both. You will also be inspired to pursue and achieve more than you ever imagined.
Focus your thoughts less on whether you’re going to be able to finish the distance and more on all the positive aspects of this journey and the pressure of the week will be minimized. This should be a week of celebration!