Prologue/Preamble: If you want to know more about what #sistersinsport is all about or more about Believe I Am, check out this blog written by Ro, co-founder of Believe I Am.
My prior post made me sound uber confident about the upcoming NYC marathon. And, to be honest, at that point, I was. My long run last Saturday had given me a healthy dose of confidence and looking back on my cumulative training did even more so. I’ve had no interruptions. I’ve had better workouts and long runs than before. All signs pointing to good marathon, right?
I told the RC on Sunday that I felt confident that this should go pretty well for me, barring some unforeseen circumstance (which is very possible with a marathon) or a stupid tactical move (also highly possible). Monday, I wrote in my training journal that “the only thing standing between me and a good marathon is race execution, not fitness, which relies upon the correct mindset.”
If you notice, I didn’t mention specific times that qualify as a “good marathon,” besides my 10 minute window of 3:35 to 3:45. I guess “good” in those moments of confidence meant a marathon in which I did the following: 1) ran up to my potential; 2) ran smartly (and #1 depends on this); 3) avoided a death march at the end (also depends on #2); 4) took the race in and was present in each moment; 5) had fun.
I even tried for about a half hour on pic monkey to superimpose the “present,here,now” Believe I Am visual cue upon a picture from last year’s NYC marathon to serve as my overall NYC marathon visual cue. I want to take in the course. Rather than trying to dissociate from the pain I’m feeling with music/distraction games/etc, I want to associate with whatever I am feeling – pain, joy, etc – and use it to fuel me all the way into Central Park (and on further to the nearest 16 Handles, ideally). I’ve been living here for 9 years now and rarely go to the outer boroughs. Perfect opportunity to take it all in, right?!
This whole little “excited, confidence, ready to have fun” mindset was temporarily derailed by the doubt demons. Looking at an excel spreadsheet and seeing that I may be running a lot of miles at 8:0x for a 3:35 marathon made my heart rate rise at least 10 beats per minute in no time. Worrying that I’ll feel good, yet be running out of my fitness level in the first half and then subsequently be doing a death march for the last 10 miles sent me into a panic. Worrying that I won’t enjoy it made me scared.
While running is often perceived as a lonely or solitary sport, I’d argue that it takes a village for even us mere “commoners” to achieve what we want in running. I used to term my running friends and mentors as my “running brain trust,” but now I like the term “Sisters In Sport” better.
My sisters in sport help remind me of my toughness, of what I’ve worked for, of what I’m capable of. My sisters in sport help me to enjoy training more. My sisters in sport are my sounding board for ideas and, most importantly, doubts.
Without Erika, I wouldn’t be a runner.
Without Jocelyn, I wouldn’t have gotten up a lot of mornings to run, wouldn’t have dared myself to dream a bit bigger (thanks to emailed articles!), or learned how to train hard and make light of it at the same time.
Without Lauren, I wouldn’t have believed that running confidence and belief in oneself isn’t given, it is something you must work on and develop…and that I could do that (still a work in progress, but I think I’m a lot better than a year ago or two years ago).
Without Jen, I wouldn’t have had a sounding board to bounce many ideas off of.
[sorry Jen, no pic of us together…must change that!]
Without the RC, I wouldn’t be nearly as calm about running as I am today (you people should have just seen when I started with her – total neurotic nutcase pace obsessed monkey).
Without Courtney and Jess, I wouldn’t have had med school running buddies and learned how to race (“racing is not fun, it is painful”).
Without Gia, I wouldn’t be running this marathon and thinking it could go well.
Without Susan and Jaime, I would think that making time for exercise in medical school was not productive for my career.
Without the Oiselle chicks, I wouldn’t be trying to embody “go fast, take chances” in races and wouldn’t think that this little weekend warrior could have a place in the “real runners” community.
And, there are many more of my #sistersinsport to name, but I can’t as it is nearing my bedtime. But, you get the picture.
After spilling all of my recent neuroses to some of my sisters (whoa, that sounds like a bit like a sorority girl now, doesn’t it?), I’ve been encouraged to really forget about pace and focus on energy managment. Encouraged to focus on not 2nd guessing myself in the 1st half as too much mental (and, in turn, physical) energy is wasted thinking “is this too fast? too slow?” Encouraged to believe in my toughness and strength in the 2nd half. Just stick with Gia, take it all in, think about the what ifs later (or never).
First half = “flow, focus, enjoy”
Second half = “smooth, strong, and steady”
But, there are still 10 days to the race. Let’s think about this later and more about what nail polish color I should wear and if I should order Ryan Lochte’s “Hardcore” video tomorrow (I think, yes).
TELL ME: WHO ARE YOUR SISTERS (OR BROTHERS) IN SPORT? HOW DO THEY HELP YOU?
Until next time…