Preparing 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.