I did it. I finally did it! I finally finished a marathon where I am completely satisfied with my performance. Heck, I didn’t meet my sub-3 goal and it really doesn’t matter. This was my performance of the year – not because I finished first place, but because I know for a fact that I am not the same runner I was a few years ago.
This realization occurred to me after I excitedly messaged my friend Radell a few days after the race to share the good news. He was so excited for me and his immediate response was, “You are a terrific athlete. I always thought you were grinding yourself too hard.” He was so right. Looking back a few years ago, when I wanted to break 3-hours at any cost, I wasn’t running for pleasure anymore, running was running my life. I basically took the fun out of running. I was dealing with injury after injury. It was horrible, really. And the best memories I have at that time are not the races, but the great friendships I made during that time – one of them being Radell, my coach at the time Sylvia Mosqueda, Adrian Broca, and so many more.
Yep, tomorrow is a big day for me as I am running my first marathon since May 2010! I am not really sure how I feel, it has felt like a countdown for centuries already and I just can’t wait to cross that finish line and that could be both a good and bad thing, I guess.
My only focus and plan tomorrow is to be patient and to run my own race. My coach Andy and I have discussed this a few times and we decided that since my target is a timed goal, I can’t care who is in front of me and I can’t get caught running too fast by running someone else’s pace.
I am ready and I am ready to go out there and do my best.
The best part about this experience is that even though I spent 90% of my runs alone, my coach has been by my side throughout this entire training program and I am so lucky to have him! Big thanks to Ashley and Balmore for coming up with me tomorrow — I owe you big time!
Click here to read my last marathon race report – pretty intense.
Although I had an amazing time in Yosemite and Bishop this past weekend, I was anxious to get home so I could have one solid week of tapering and just focus on my race. I thought my first run without elevation and altitude would feel great, but I came home to hot, sticky and humid weather. The good news is that it shouldn’t be too warm on Sunday with forecast temp at a high of 69.
Ran an easy four yesterday, and today I ran four at MRP – I almost completely forgot to run at all so I didn’t get out the door until around 9:30pm! Oh, and I got a massage this morning but I don’t think it really helped since I haven’t had a second to relax since. I should be getting my race shorts and shoes tomorrow which will give me a few days to put in a few miles before the big day (the shoes, not the shorts). I ordered these cute pink Nike boy shorts and I will be wearing them with one of my MILE AFTER FREAKING MILE tanks and some sort of trucker hat. I know to you it may seem silly that I put so much effort in what I am wearing but for me, it really helps, it’s fun, and it gets me excited.
I am not really sure how to feel about my race (races actually). I feel a little stressed out and for once it is not me stressing myself out, it’s everyone and their whisper voices about my upcoming races and who plans to run them and also who plans on beating me. It’s almost like a certain time or place is going to define me. I completely disagree. I know I am a tough competitor and I will always try to run and race my best. I will always try to chase the ponytail in front of me but I never put a target on someone, and I never run with the intention of beating any one person in particular. I run my own race. That’s kind of limiting, don’t you think? Anyway, while I let most of this chatter go in one ear and out the other, I feel like the fun is being sucked right out of something I love so much and I am not handling it very well. It’s times like these I wish I was just one of the guys, running fierce, trying my damnedest to take the podium while at the same time building strong friendships that nurture that winning attitude. Guys are really good at this, at least it seems like it anyway.
Do you ever feel that way? Or am I just having a taper tantrum?