One of the subtleties I noticed in both tennis and running (and, I guess, everything) is the difference in forcing something to happen and letting it happen. Trying to force a winner or force a certain pace ends up in a stressful mess of, well, stress and often frustration.
From all of your comments on my last post (seriously, thank you!), I realized that I’m approaching the residency application and match in much the same way. I’m trying to force myself into a certain program rather than letting taking what interviews I get and seeing where is the best fit for me amongst those choices. Like tapering for a marathon, the hay for my residency application is in the barn (and that hay took 3 years and a lot of studying to put into said barn). All I can do now is let the correct ship come to me, rather than half doggy-paddle/drown my way to a ship that may not want me even if I think on paper it is the best fit for me.
I’m sort of trying to approach the NYC marathon with that same mentality – just “let it happen.”
In marathons past (ok, fine, all 2 of them in which I’ve had a time goal), I’ve really tried to force a pace or certain marathon goal time to happen. The race is stressful. I’m sure my cortisol levels are skyrocketing around mile 8.
I’ve decided that this year will be different. It’s just another race. I’m just going to let whatever time I’m destined to run that day happen. I’m going to run with Gia and we’re going to have a great, stress-free, and Garmin-less race (or at least I’m running sans-Garmin). I want to understand the magic of the marathon that everyone else gets captivated by.
Now, to be honest, I do have a lofty little time goal that is in the back of my head. But, I’m not getting my heart set on it nor going into the race with numbers clouding all of my thoughts. This race is more about feeling than numbers. [Or, maybe, this is just a cop out so I’m not disappointed.]
There is one predicament with this approach and “goal” (if one can even call it that) — how do you visualize your success?
Usually, when I visualize a race, I see numbers associated with me running. 7:xx or 8:xx pace on the watch. 3:3x:xx at the end of a marathon.
Now, when I think about the NYC marathon, I just see a happy runner trying her best. I think there is also some pixie dust in that vision and I’m basically sparkling, but I think that’s my magical thinking, Harry-Potter-should-be real side of the brain coming into play.
I’m hoping that’s sufficient for said neuroscience to work in reprogramming my brain.
To end, I’ll show you some pics from how I conquered my NYC marathon 20 mile training run PTSD this weekend (I got injured last year on a 20 miler two weeks before the marathon). I was abnormally nervous before this run (ask Jocelyn – the redesign of this blog is the fruition of my procrastination). Flashbacks. The works. I broke it into three 7 mile loops and kept the pace easy.
Remember, if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you! You can thank Gia for that one.
[This also applies to eating fro-yo cones as big as your head.]
TELL ME: WHAT YOU’RE VISUALIZING OR TELLING YOURSELF FOR YOUR NEXT BIG RACE – MARATHON OR 5K OR EATING CHALLENGE.
Until next time…