It’s almost been a month since I ran Chicago and I think I’ve had enough time to have some coherent thoughts.
I PRed, but I didn’t run as well as I wanted. All of the race predictors say I should have run faster. I trained to run faster. I ran faster through a majority of the marathon. It was hot, I had an asthma attack and landed in the medical tent at the end of the race. Race predictions aside, I know that I didn’t run as well as I could have. That killed me for a good two weeks.
I’ve had some distance from the race to actually process what I need to do differently. Mostly, it has to do with my mental game. I sell myself short all the time. I convince myself I can’t do difficult things. I tell myself I’ll be uncomfortable. I tell myself I can’t hold X pace because I don’t know how to pace myself. I tell myself I don’t have the time. I worry about what it will feel like when I fail. This is ridiculous, because it takes all of the fun out of one of the things I love most about running: seeing myself achieve more.
I was watching a football game this weekend and I realized something about quarterbacks. They don’t have a lot of time to make a decision about where to throw a pass. And they don’t always make the right decision. Sometimes the ball gets intercepted. Sometimes they overthrow. Sometimes the guy they thought would be open isn’t. The thing is, they make a decision and stick to it. I want to start doing that with my running. If I’m going to go out there and run X miles at X pace, I want to try my darndest to do it, instead of making excuses for how I can’t do it. I want to start feeling different paces. I want to embrace discomfort, because that’s what you need in the last 10K of a marathon.
I think I took my first step this past weekend. My coach had me running 10 miles – 5 at an easy pace and 5 at marathon pace. I was worried about this, because I hadn’t done a double digit run since the marathon (3 weeks prior). I ended up not being able to hold that pace for my marathon. But I decided I was going to push myself and not talk myself out of it. I did it. It was challenging. But the feeling of finishing that workout was AMAZING.
The turnaround began on Saturday, and I have to keep it going every day. I’ll be running the Shamrock Half Marathon in March. I want to PR, and I am going to keep that in mind every single time I start a workout.