My original goal for Chicago was lofty- and had to abandon it early on due to some sort of calf/shin issue that sidelined me for months. When I was able to run again I was constantly scared that the injury would flare up and knock me off my training again. So I took it easy and created a good base mileage. I did what I had to do to get to the finish healthy. Now begins the journey of hitting an amazingly lofty goal I have set for my next marathon.
(Somewhere around mile 22-24? I make it look too easy!)
Getting in the way- What are you scared of? Success??
I find myself getting in the way of my progress. I notice being complacent or comfortable running at a certain speed. When I think that i'm going to have to break the next barrier (of 8:00/mile) for most of my runs, I'm nervous. WHY?? There is no good reason. I know my body can handle it (I've gone sub 8 for many of my runs- if only for a mile or 2), but my mind is too set and comfy running 8:30+ a mile. I found this to be true earlier in the year when I was training for my sub 2:00 halfs. I was super complacent running at 9:30/mile and found it difficult to turn up the speed to finally train in the 8's. I needed to tell my mind to back off and let me do what I was capable of doing. During most of my runs, I would do negative splits and end up running in the mid-low 8's. Finally came the day where I would just start running sub 9's for my training.
Im confident that "running faster, will make you run faster" as well as more consistent running, and running more miles. This is how I went from a best of 2:00 in a half in 2010 to a new PR of 1:48 this year. I had to tell my mind to shut up and let me run. It is truly amazing what the body can accomplish when you dont let your mind get in the way. I've also found that the fear of success is almost as great as the fear of failure.
How bad do you want it?
A year ago I ran the Nike Women's Marathon without a time goal in mind. I just wanted to finish healthy. My best friend Tribu also ran the race- it was her first marathon and she was determined as hell to qualify for Boston. She trained during the hottest days of summer, waking up super early to run at 4am to get some relief from the oppressive heat. She ended up qualifying for Boston on her first try- an amazing accomplishment and an even more amazing feat to have been on the hilly NWM course. She didn't let excuses get in the way, instead she put in the hard work necessary to achieve this goal. Another friend of ours ran his first marathon today in 3:18 and got his BQ. He just started running not more than 2 years ago. Folks, anything is possible if you are willing to put in the hard work.
With any goal- it might seem ridiculous or out of reach. But if you break it down into small pieces it will seem much more attainable. You cant expect to teach a dog to roll over in one step- instead you must break it down into much smaller steps- like sit, down, lay on side, etc in order to get the singular goal of rolling over. If you want your goal bad enough then you will do everything humanly possible to achieve it. I'd rather have a crazy (albeit *somewhat* attainable just out of my reach) goal that I must work hard for than one that will come easy. I want to push myself to see what I am made of while my body is still willing to cooperate. While i'm happy with every PR that I achieve, I always want more and know I can do better. I might not ever be the fastest runner, but I can try to be.
(Celebrating the Chicago Marathon at Fleet Feet where we waited to get our medals engraved the day after the race)
How I plan to be successful
- No excuses. Saying no is hard, but how bad do you want your goal?
- Pushing myself to new frontiers in my running and not giving in.
- Training smart. Every run has a purpose.
- Strength training. Core training. (core/ upper body felt weak during Chicago. )
- Having the full support of my wonderful, wonderful to achieve my dream.
- Researching proper nutrition and post run refueling. and putting it to use.
- Living my dream because I can. Failure of this dream due to MY laziness is NOT an option.
- "Virtually" training with Tribu to keep on track and stay motivated.