Saturday, April 21, 2012

Shaken Confidence

For the last ten weeks, I had been training with Happy Running's half marathon performance group three times a week.  My three weekly runs were speed, strength and/or endurance focused.  There were no easy runs or recovery runs to which I've grown accustomed in marathon training.  My recovery days were comprised of bikes, swims or bike/swim bricks.  The first six weeks I nailed every workout. Then the weather turned to crap.  I got sick, my motivation dropped, my legs always felt like lead, speed dropped and my confidence plummeted.  Those last couple weeks of training were mentally and physically tough.

I considered scratching the race many times.  My husband had accidentally registered for a 40 mile run on the same day.  We didn't have childcare for us both to run.  It was highly unlikely that I'd accomplish the 1:48 time goal.  This wasn't an "A-Race" for me.  I mainly signed up for this training group and marathon to build up speed to help me out in June at Boise 70.3.  It seemed like the universe was trying to tell me not to run this race.

Over those ten weeks, I loved having a coach and a set training plan that took all the guess work out of my training.  It was fabulous to meet and run with new people who challenged and inspired me. While running alongside these awesome folks, the race became more and more important to me.  I wanted to run it well.  I thought I could, but at the same time, I was scared.  What if I hurt myself?  What if I couldn't finish?  What if I didn't PR?  After my triathlon brain fart the previous weekend, I just couldn't take another disappointment.

The night before the race when I was still on the fence about whether or not I could and should run.  I got a side ache and fatigued legs just running three easy miles at ten to eleven minute pace!  What was I thinking?!  I was supposed to maintain an 8:14 pace for THIRTEEN miles?!  I know that doesn't sound fast to many of you but that's BLAZING for me!  I am a nine to ten minute miler.  I don't particularly like breaking a sweat or pushing myself to discomfort while running.  How could I suddenly believe that I had changed overnight to an eight-ish minute distance miler?  I had never  felt so insecure going into a race.

Thankfully I had my husband and coach's support.  They had seen me through all my training.  They are experienced and amazing runners whose opinions I highly value.  "You are stronger than you think."  "Fresh legs from two weeks of tapering and race energy will get you through." Thank you!  I had busted my butt training for this thing for the last ten weeks, why not another two hours or so to run the darn thing?  If I sucked, I sucked and life would go on.  If they were right, my training paid off and I had a good race, all the better! I decided to listen to my heart and give it a try.

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