4 miles @ 9:26 per mile pace. I also ate a Big Mac combo today. Probably not the smartest meal a few days before a marathon. Kylee wanted to go on a date to McDonalds. My five year old beguiled me, and I did eat.
Consider this little nugget of wisdom by Tim Noakes from the book Lore Of Running:
It takes probably four to eight weeks to prepare mentally for a marathon “because the degree of discomfort experienced after 18 miles in the marathon is the worst that most men, and most women outside of childbirth, ever experience. In order to cope with this, the mind needs to understand fully why it should drive the body through that pain barrier.”
I think that statement is incredible. And true. And incredibly true. During my first marathon, the pain WAS that bad. Which rationally makes the thought of doing it again seem ridiculous. But the association to childbirth makes sense. It hurts really bad (I'm assuming, based on observation.) You look forward to it for months. You're nervous. And scared. And excited. It hurts really bad. You want to die.
But then you hold that baby in your arms and all the pain was worth it (I'm assuming, based on observation.)
"We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves...The more restricted our society and work become, the more necessary it will be to find some outlet for this craving for freedom. No one can say, 'You must not run faster than this, or jump higher than that.' The human spirit is indomitable."
~ Sir Roger Bannister, first runner to run a sub-4 minute mile