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Mentally Tough for Mountains 2 Beach

Mountains to Beach Marathon Goals and being mentally toughPreparing for this race has been interesting for me. It’s the first race that I’ve run in quite some time where I’m actually trying to run faster for the entire race and I don’t have the mentality “just finishing.” All week I’ve been a bundle of nervous energy and my mind is constantly wandering to the race, which is very unlike me. Normally, I just think about finishing and that it doesn’t really matter. Now I’m keep thinking, oh man, I want to have a good race and make this actually count.

The main questions I keep asking myself are how long I truly can hold a faster pace and if I can get through the “wall” and push to the end. When I signed up for the race, I knew I have been running faster and I wanted to use this race as a good way to test myself. I have had great training runs and not so great ones and I feel like I’ve gone through the whole range of emotion during this month. I can’t believe it’s only been a month!

For my goals… I honestly want to push myself harder then I have before in any marathon. When things get tough, when I hurt, when I want to stop and catch my breath, I want to remind myself I can do this, it’s just one foot in front of the other. This whole training round I had really worked hard on pushing through when things are hard and making each run have purpose. When a training run was heading in the wrong direction, I didn’t just keep running. I stopped and started over the next day. I want to really see what I’m capable of for this distance. My Marathon PR is 3:55 and my A goal is go out, leave everything on the course and cross the finish line exhausted, sore, drained and with a new PR.

I am constantly telling the kids I coach that when they run, whether it’s a hard tempo training run or during a race, that it will hurt, but being uncomfortable is what makes you faster and stronger runner. You have to push yourself out of your comfort zone if you want to reach new goals. I realized not long ago that I wasn’t listening to my own advice. I wanted to run faster, but wasn’t working hard or pushing myself. Now that I’m actually working harder on my training runs and pushing myself, my speed is starting to come back and it’s motivating to see the changes.

Usually for me it seems like a marathon is great or a complete bust. I’m hopeful that this weekend will be one of those magical days where things click and I chase down my PR and cross the line with a sweaty, tired, smile on my face.

No matter what, I am excited to get out there again and see where I’m at with the distance and pushing myself. I haven’t had these kind of butterflies about a race in a long time and I can’t wait to start on Sunday. I’ve got some big plans for Long Beach Marathon this year so this is the perfect place to see how my training pays off.

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. - T.S. Eliot


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  • Reply karleen

    woot woot! Good luck Danica! i’ve been seeing your faster paced runs and you’ve been doing amazing!

    May 21, 2014 at 3:26 pm
  • Reply christine

    You can do this!!!! You worked hard for this, believe!

    May 21, 2014 at 3:45 pm
  • Reply Krystin

    You will do great!!!!

    May 21, 2014 at 3:53 pm
  • Reply Maggie

    I only hear your stories via your blog, but I’m excited for you. ROCK IT!

    May 21, 2014 at 5:30 pm
  • Reply Emily

    Good luck, Danica!

    May 21, 2014 at 6:12 pm
  • Reply Natalie @ Twenty-Something Talk

    SO excited for you! You’ve been busting your ass and can’t wait to hear about an awesome awesome racE!

    May 21, 2014 at 6:26 pm
  • Reply Caitlin Lanseer

    YOU. CAN. DO. THIS!!! So excited for you and Good luck!! You will be amazing!

    May 22, 2014 at 5:46 am
  • Reply The Silent Assassin

    Love it D! Loved this post! “pushing through when things are hard and making each run have purpose”…this gave me goose bumps and made me smile! Oh and I hear ya’ on being the coach and being able to set and example and actually doing the things you preach to your kids everyday! I also suffer from mentally telling myself I just want to finish. I think sometimes that’s just a cop out. If you don’t hit your mark, you say “i’m glad I just finished”… if you kill it, it’s like “yeah, I was just trying to finish, but I pushed myself as hard as I can”. Time to be honest with yourself. (now I’m preaching to myself). You will do awesome D! Thanks again for sharing!

    May 22, 2014 at 12:31 pm
  • Reply Andrea

    Good luck! I can’t wait to read about it!

    May 22, 2014 at 1:48 pm
  • Reply Meg

    Woohoo!!! Good luck you are going to do great!!!

    May 22, 2014 at 3:26 pm
  • Reply Colleen

    Good luck!! It kind of makes it more fun to be a little scared right!? I think you will do an amazing job! You’ve been such an inspiration to me. I think of you on every run and remember to make it count! I’m only running 3 days a week for my upcoming marathon so I think that makes this especially important!

    May 22, 2014 at 3:40 pm
  • Reply Danielle @daniruns

    Good luck! Even though you don’t need it, you’re going to run a fantastic race! Can’t wait to hear all about that new shiny PR :)

    May 22, 2014 at 4:55 pm
  • Reply Amanda @runtothefinish

    seriously you inspire me on lots of levels. I am working on getting to this mindset for a fall race. go get it girl!

    May 23, 2014 at 2:12 pm
  • Reply Sarah

    Go, Danica! You’ve been training at some amazing paces and have worked so hard. I look forward to reading more about how you trained and can’t wait to hear about your race. You’re going to have a great race. You’ve earned it!

    May 24, 2014 at 9:08 am
  • Reply Tiffany M.

    Good luck! Sounds like a beautiful race with great weather.

    May 25, 2014 at 6:47 am
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