Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Mental Struggle

All the stuff in my head right now is crazy.  We had 7 on the schedule this morning, 2 easy, 3 race pace, 2 easy.  When we started race pace, it felt kind of tough.  I checked the pace, and I was going slightly too fast -- faster than MY race pace.  Eventually I slowed down a bit and ran more at a more appropriate pace.  In reality, at the end of the 3 miles, I was about 15 seconds back from the group right in front of me.  Knowing their marathon goals, I probably should have been more like 30 seconds back. 

But in my head the whole time, instead of recognizing that everyone has different goals and I don't have to be as fast as everyone else, I kept thinking it was okay to fall back.  I was telling myself it was okay b/c I'm just not as worried about my finish time at Boston as some other people are.  Which may be true.  But on the other hand, it's like I'm setting myself up to fail.  Bracing myself for a lackluster finish time.  Trying to manage my expectations, and to a much lesser extent, my husband's.  Why? 

I'm not too worried about his expectations.  I think he realizes I wanted to get to Boston and even if I end up an hour off a PR, I think he'll be happy if I finish feeling okay and am ready to go to Italy the next day.  I just remember in 2009 when I was running St. George and I struggled during warm weather.  I had just barely eeked (eked?) out a PR.  About 2 minutes.  He said something after the race about how glad he was that I'd PRed b/c if we'd traveled all that way for a non-PR, why did we bother.  That has really stuck with me apparently.  But I'm not too worried he'll feel that way about Boston since it is more of an experience than other races.  But in truth, esp since this marathon is how we're spending our wedding anniversary, I don't him to be disappointed in me. 

But it's my own expectations that most concern me.  Am I setting myself up for failure?  Trying to give myself an easy out?  Why am I afraid of going for it?  What's the worst that happens?  I crash and burn?  I've done that before, and it's not the end of the world. 

Part of me thinks I need to go with my ambitious "A" goal and not let up.  At least I tried.  And I made it to Boston, which was my goal.  Go big, or go home?  But I can't help it.  I don't want to fail.  I don't want to disappoint myself.

I feel like maybe I've been through this thought process before?  I should go back to my pre-MTCM blog posts and see.  In reality, esp. now that I met my goal of getting to the race, I have a lifetime to try to improve, or not. 

Wow, so much going on in my head... ugh.  I need to just run and stop thinking about it all! 

1 comment:

  1. Boston is such an amazing accomplishment it itself that I'm sure whether or not you reach you PR goals you'll finish strong and feel good about what you've done.

    I was going to email you about that weekend. I had completely forgotten that I have to be in NYC the 16/17 for bridesmaid dress appointments! For some reason i kept thinking the marathon was the next weekend, but of all the weekends to be out of town. I'm so sorry the timing didn't work out