What I think a lot of great marathon runners do is envision crossing that finish line. Visualization is critical. But for me, I set a lot of little goals along the way to get my mind off that overwhelming goal of 26.2 miles. I know I've got to get to 5, and 12, and 16, and then I celebrate those little victories along the way.
When you run the marathon, you run against the distance, not against the other runners and not against the time.
Runners exalt the marathon as a public test of private will, when months or years of solitary training, early mornings, lost weekends, rain and pain mature into triumph or surrender. That's one reason the race-day crowds matter, the friends who come to cheer and stomp and flap their signs and push the runners on.
You can dominate a game if you dominate on the line... We're just going to have to go out there and work hard and blow people off the ball, and let our runners do what they do best.
Once we get into the groove, we're kind of like long-distance runners - that adrenalin kicks in for me and I just keep running - and I don't stop!