The last time I posted was back in May. I've been running regularly for about 3 months now. I've got a training schedule for my half marathon in October that I've been following. I run 3 times a week and now I throw in strength training 2-3 times a week as well. Technically, I know I can complete 6 miles. In truth, I know I can finish 9.3 miles. I finished The Boilermaker last year, so why am I so terrified of it this year?
This year I'm better conditioned. At last nights speed work I actually ran an entire mile around a track without run/walking and I felt like I could keep going. I used to run all the time instead of run/walk, so I hadn't been used to how long I could run without stopping. I know the Boilermaker race route, I know that at mile four and seven I will be exhausted. I know that is when I should take in either a gel or a little clif bar. I know that I'll use Nuun in my water bottle and that i'll take the time to refill the bottle during the race. I know I am walking up the golf course hill. I know I can take on the "rolling, little hills" in the first mile. I know these things. Well, at least right now I do.
The mental aspect of running, that has been my challenge. In my head while out on distance runs I have used the word "can't, give up, stop". I battle it with, "can, do this, and you have to get back to the car anyway". I have always had a visual focus point when I dig down deep. Any girl who played volleyball with me in high school can attest to the stare I would give just prior to my serve.
If there is a person in front of me in the race then often I try to attach on to them. Other runners call this becoming a magnet and that the other runner will pull them forward, decreasing the space between you two. In every big race I have ever ran, I have had a visual focus point. I have placed someone at the finish that I hoped would be so proud of me. Truthfully, I have placed someone at the finish that I hoped would love me.
Last year's Boilermaker was a huge emotional journey. I ran to the finish, and there at the finish line was the woman I loved. We drove home together. Then we said our goodbye's and she moved across the country. She was my race support. Currently I'm plagued with the idea of race support, of having to drive myself home after the Boilermaker, which is OK. I know I am running this race (well, any race really) for myself. Still, it is so nice to have someone there so see your success and be so proud of you.
My therapist has challenged me to run toward a pool of light, a source of energy. Em tells me to run to myself. I tell running friends that I'm running towards my celebrity crush. (Hannah Hart of My Drunk Kitchen) But my mental energy goes everywhere during a long race. I might have music, I might not. That is something I am still trying to figure out. I think of a few people while I run, but it's fleeting, because it needs to be.
I am going to try and just focus on a nice mantra that goes with the rhythm of my foot falls and the sound of my breath pattern. Try to focus on some warm light (come into the light Carolann) It all sounds silly but I have had little moments where I feel defeated lately and they are creeping in like stage fright. I hope like stage fright that it goes away once places are called.