Finishing Out Tough Runs

A reader emailed me a few weeks ago asking for tips to finish out tough runs. I’m not an elite runner but I’ve started eight marathons and finished all of them so I guess I can say something on the topic of finishing out a run. This is all based on my personal opinion so make sure you see a doctor if you are in pain. 🙂

It sucks when you do something new for the first time. Doing the same thing a second time makes the fourth time easier than the third. You have to keep doing it until you don’t care anymore. You either give up or gain the ability to do it for the rest of your life.

I had tremendous knee pain kick in around mile 12 when I was running Dubai in January. The next three miles were awful but I eventually stopped caring. I decided if I hurt myself I wouldn’t run Singapore in March, but Dubai was hot and I didn’t want to go back so I finished the race. Here’s a look at my eight marathons and two half marathons, the problems I had at each race, and my overall memory of each race.

  • DC Half Marathon: rainy, super cold, great race
  • Delaware Beach Marathon: shoes a full size too small, feet ruined for months, hot, great race
  • Wine Country Half Marathon: my best race ever, great race
  • Arctic Circle Marathon: boring second half, great race
  • Angkor Wat Marathon: worst bathroom problems of my life, hot, it was fine (cool sunrise)
  • Bangkok Marathon: bloody nose, felt like I was running in the dark, not a great race
  • Mt Fuji Marathon: girlfriend broke up with me an hour before the race (tough!), great race
  • Seoul Marathon: was out partying the night before this race, slept about 3 hours, great race
  • Beijing Marathon: bathroom problems, boring course, it was fine (amazing first mile)
  • Dubai Marathon: terrible knee pain, boring course, hot, not a great race

No meeting is a marathon. a marathon is a marathon. Something will always go wrong but as you get more running experience it becomes much easier to finish the race. I can look back and laugh at all of this stuff now except knee pain. Knee pain is no joke!

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