It's so easy when something goes wrong to immediately start questioning yourself and lowering your expectations. The hardest thing to do is remembering to believe in yourself. Yesterday I ran the usa 10 mile champs and came away feeling really upset and discouraged. I got a lot of support from people and while it made me feel loved the excuses frustrated me. "You just had the flu", "you have been worried about your ankle" on and on. I think it's natural to want to blame it on something...at this point ANYTHING. I mean I've run a faster 10 mile in route to a half, I've run almost as fast at altitude, even in workouts. All this left me feeling like wow what is going on with me.
Last year was an amazing progression for me I was rocking and rolling. Running PR's left and right. It was amazing! Now I'm left with feeling like every race needs to be a PR or earth shattering. Sadly that's just not running and sadly running is 90% mental. What does this mean? It means I go in to every race thinking oh crap that last race was a real sh** show this will be the same. Trust me I do everything I can to stop thinking about it, to try and put the last race out of my head, but it never fails to still haunt me. It's also really hard to not compare yourself to people you race a lot. For example usually I'm ahead of so and so, or just behind this person. In running anything can happen on any given day so comparing yourself is not ideal. Yet again it's the nature of the beast.
After 3 races in this marathon build up and 3 disappointments I'm left to feel "what is going on". Do I need to do more? Do I need to do something different? I've been training hard but I'm the first to admit this build up has not been perfect. I've had some hiccups and some set backs. This is hard for me as I feel like the marathon is more "my" thing. Granted I've only done one but it was the most I've ever enjoyed training as well as racing.
True to our schedule the ADP group set out yesterday afternoon to do our second workout of the day. We hit Fort Schnelling in MN for a nice 10+ mile workout. This is when my spirits were lifted. I felt just as good if not better than the race. I was hitting the same paces or faster than I was during the race. It felt smooth and controlled and I felt indestructible. While this does little to make me feel better about not being able to get my turnover going during the race it gave me 100% more confidence for NYC! Like I said I don't want an excuse I want an answer so I can change it but maybe just maybe for me to be FAST like I was during the summer I need to focus on it. Lets be honest my stride is not exactly made for speed. So take a couple months of doing marathon pace and I think my body just settles in and has a hard time adjusting back down to the speed. It's not good of me but maybe something I can work on for down the road. It could be just being so "young" in running my body just hasn't learned to jump up and down. So while I'm super frustrated and worried I also remember YES I am the same runner that ran 32:48 for 10k and 72:56 for the half not that long ago. I'm going to try to learn to shut that little voice up that keeps saying "that whole thing must have been luck because now holding sub 5:30 pace would take a miracle" the fact remains I'm in great shape just not for anything other than the marathon. It still stinks to have raced these other races so slow yes.......but at the same point in my build up to Houston when I ran a half I ran two minutes slower than I did when I ran rock n roll Denver a couple weeks ago. So maybe just maybe I'm better off than I thought?!?!?
I'll see you with my two crazy kids and hubby in NYC!!!!!!! I'll be ready to rock! Until than I have 3 solid weeks of kicking my own butt in preparation!