>Last post. I debated about taking it down all week because:
- talk about Debbie Downer. Who needs that?
- self-pity? Check. I was meant to be past that. Sorry.
- not very well-written. I could have crafted that into a much more coherent whine-fest.
But the reason I did not take it down was because of all of your comments. You were so good! You helped me! You listened and you advised and you gently chided. Gently chiding, in particular, is very good. I needed to be gently chided. The following pieces of advice, in particular, stand out.
- I deserve to run Boston. I will stop whining about the )(*(*&*&^*&^*^ 13 seconds. I’m in.
- To train to run, I need to run. I will fit in bikerides and swims – because I love riding and because swimming technique takes time and I’m so not there yet – but until April 18th, I’m focusing on running.
- I was tired. That and hormones did not make for a good training week. I won’t give up on my long runs again, Lizzie Lee!
- I have picked my training paces somewhat randomly. No – I’m going to be honest, my training paces are what comes out when you put my PR – run a year ago and not neared since – into the Macmillan calculcator. Probably not an accurate picture of where I’m at right now…
- Fun. I was missing the fun in my run(s). I know there are some
nutsadmirable people out there who love race pace training runs but I love my slower runs where I just zone out and smell the roses (or cow poo which is more like it round here but still) and listen to my podcasts and clear out the cow poo in my head.
So what am I going to do? Oh I know you’re all desperate to find out.
Well, as you know I’ve been “working on myself”, hideous as that may sound (and it does! I know) for the past year – primarily because I’m bored and fed up with how I’ve dealt with various stressors in the past. And it struck me this week that my running is due for an attitude overhaul. I know I’ve told you that I started to run because I was overweight and felt, in all honesty, that I had hit rock bottom physically and mentally. For years, I’ve been running to prove to myself that I was not fat, not worthless, not a quitter. That strategy has been good in some respects – on many a cold, windy, nasty day it has got me out the door. But on the other hand, when a week like last week happens, I tend to think that really, all the negative stuff really is true after all. In other words, a bad week proves that the past 6.5 years have been a fluke. And after writing that pitiful post on Sunday, I suddenly wondered whether I might just be able to run (forgive me for sounding like Oprah) from a more positive place. In other words, maybe I could run because I can, because I love it, because it makes me a happier and more positive person. And then maybe a bad week could be a bad week. It could have reasons for being a bad week, but the reason would not be that I’m basically such a terrible person, and the bad week proves it.
Which led me to think on Boston. I am meeting lots of wonderful runners and bloggers out there. And when I think of them I think of all of these women as fast, strong athletes. All of them are – they really are. And I realised all of a sudden that I still think of myself as an interloper in their midst. The slow, short fatty who somehow managed to fluke her way into Boston. Like somehow my qualification doesn’t count as much as everyone else’s. If one of you were posting this I would be shouting at you that you deserved to be there as much as anyone and I would believe it. So why don’t I believe this about myself? The truth is – compared to many of these women I’m meeting out there – I don’t dare to take my running as seriously. I don’t dare put it out there that I would like to PR out there in Boston. But I’m beginning to think that my behaviour is self-fulfilling. Asking whether it’s okay for me to run Boston “for fun” is basically me asking you whether it’s okay for me not to even try to run my best race. (Please don’t get me wrong – I have no views whatsoever on anyone else’s strategy for any race, this is simply me being honest about myself).
And so I am going to be honest with you, and with me. I want to run a great race in Boston. I am going to try to be positive in my thinking and my visualisations of myself in this race. I have pushed myself hard physically before in training and I will do that again this time. But I will also push myself for a more positive goal and self-image this time. I am going to race Boston as well as I can. That’s not setting myself a time goal – that’s telling you that I am going to race Boston with the best of my ability. I am going to leave it out there, my friends.
Woah. It feels scary just to say it but there you go. If I don’t say it, I won’t ever believe it.
And as for training – I’m still thinking on it. I’ll come up with the detail and you will help me. But this, people, this is what matters. Never mind turning the body around – that happened 6.5 years ago. It’s time my mind caught up with it.