After Kiawah I was really defeated. I felt I had trained so hard and come up short. Part of me wanted to rush back into another marathon and part of me never wanted to race again. Yes, I said it. Part of me wanted to forget racing.
I had put a lot of pressure on myself to perform in that marathon and had put a LOT in one race. That was the wonderful thing about Boston, even though it was only 4 months after having Easton, I was able to go into it with ZERO expectations and just have FUN! Sure, it still hurt but without pressure I just went out and there and enjoyed it!
It took me over a month to really feel the desire to start training HARD again and to think about racing again. When Tara and I started discussing finding a 5k race to start off the season with I dragged my feet forever to sign up for it. I just couldn’t get myself to commit to any time of race, even a 5k.
Finally after weeks of trying to find a race I decided it was time to just jump in. I found a race on a weekend I knew someone could keep E, I signed up, and I didn’t look back.
Tara and I started training together but the goal for this race is to just get the rust off my legs. To see where we are starting from and then work from there.
To be honest, there is still a lot of doubt lingering around from my last marathon. The only way that I will be able to get out from under that is to race again. The fact that I am racing a distance that I have not done in over 9 years in many ways is good. I don’t know what to expect, I have no set goals, it’s just simply about going out there and seeing what these rusty legs have in them.
Going into this race I have a few ways I am going to focus differently this go round:
Run without my watch: Ok, not really. I will have my Garmin on come race day but I don’t want to be obsessed with it. I am planning out a handful of times during the race I will look at it and other than that I want to run based off effort.
Learn to embrace the pain: Racing comes with pain. It doesn’t matter if you are running the marathon or a 5k. The pain is different but no matter what you race at some point you are going to enter what I like to call the “pain cave.” At this point I want to just focus on embracing the pain and letting my body do what it’s meant to do: run.
Stay mentally strong: Mental strength has always haunted me and I want to use this race to test that. Since it’s a rust buster I don’t expect to have a perfect race but I do expect to focus on staying mentally tough and focused. As I continue to race I will be able to fine tune it further.
Race for ME: I’ve talked about racing for yourself on here before, and while competing is fun at the end of the day I want to go out there and give the best performance I can for ME!
Keep it in perspective: At the end of the day a race is just a race. It doesn’t determine anything about me or even my current fitness. I will give it my best and no matter good or bad I keep working from there.
A few other things I am focusing on this cycle to help:
Race more: Instead of having one goal race I am trying to add in more races to my calendar. This makes the pressure of races less and gives me a lot more experience in racing. This is easier to do with 5k’s than marathons but I am hoping that by racing more shorter that it will also make racing longer easier.
Lots of podcasts: I’ve found lately that listening to podcasts of other runners I admire or ones about mental fitness and strength has really helped me get my head back in the game.
I don’t know what this year of racing is going to bring, but I do know I am ready to do it again! That is the most important thing for me. YOU have to be ready to get back out there or otherwise you are just forcing yourself to do something you’re not ready for.
So, here we go! Let’s kick the 2018 racing season off!