Does one ever "feel" ready for a marathon?

I am one week away from my taper. I run 20 on this coming Sunday (12/21) and then start the process of resting and recuperating for the race in January. I have these intermittent fits of panic and calm. one day I feel ready, the next I feel panicky. Is it possible for one to actually feel “ready” for a marathon? Or is are we subject to a series of days that alternate between confidence and self-doubt? And why am I nervous about running a distance I have run almost three times in the past? What is wrong with me? A good friend once described our relationship with running as “Love/HATE.” Is this true for the rest of you?

By the way I am now on twitter. For those of you desiring to see just how dull I am follow disneyrunner on twitter.


  1. Alternating between confidence and doubt sounds right on target. This has been quite a journey for you and has been building up for a while now. So it’s perfectly normal to start to have doubts now that it’s getting closer. After all, it is the culmination of a year?? of training. Just remember to have faith in your training. Any time doubts start to creep up, just take a moment to think of a really good training day. If you can harness the good mental state that you felt before, during, and after a great training run, it works wonders on giving you a little boost when you need it. You’re going to do AWEWSOME!!! I can’t wait to hear about it. Maybe podcast during the race???? That’d be cool.Hope

  2. I think what you’re feeling is quite normal. You ARE most definitely ready. 100%! I, both times, have felt ready. For my first, it was just a matter of doing it. I knew I could; I finished the training, after all. For the second, it was more a matter of “Will I meet my time goal?” and I psyched myself out too much and had a much slower race than #1. So next time I am going into race day viewing it merely as a training run. All about the fun!And I think you should focus on the fun, also. Just do it! You’re going to be in paradise. And you’re READY!

  3. For your first marathon, I think you’ve just got to trust the training. It’s pretty typical, though, to experience self-doubt during the taper as you are not actively training the same way and start second guessing yourself. Once you get going during the race, you’ll be fine!

  4. I wouldn’t worry about it. I don’t think you ever feel 100% prepared. I did WDW in 2007 and hit the wall hard, finishing in 5:20. I trained all year with payback on my mind and ran without stopping in 2008 in 4:39:04. I did St. Jude a couple of weeks ago, feeling the least prepared for any run in my life, and ran 4:26:27.Just enjoy it. The run/course/fans/music/characters are all phenomenal. And trust me, I have never tasted anything better than the beer I had at the biergarten in Germany at Epcot after 26.2 miles. Good luck.Dan Klein

  5. It must be a universal thing to feel this way before the first marathon. I had the same thoughts. If you’ve done what you were supposed to do you’ll be ready. No matter what, it will be a personal best when you cross that finish line. See you there!

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