>Scratch that.

>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 nuts admirable 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.


20 thoughts on “>Scratch that.

  1. >I just freaking love you. I'll be a "nuts admirable person" any day. Better than what most of the others say about me. ;)You have got Boston Petra. You know it too. I KNOW you do.Happy [pizza & wine] Friday! Need another photo of that fun! πŸ˜‰

  2. >Ok, I am going to come back to this and comment tonight. Just like the last post, which I was thinking about before I commented and now you're on to the next post and I still have commented but I have commented here on this post but it's not the comment I really want to make so more comments later. Is that enough comments in one paragraph? :)XOXO

  3. >It's crazy, but I totally feel the same way whenever I read up on your progress. And I think to myself, that one day I hope to come close to being as fast as you. Petra, you're awesome! You're going to PR out there!

  4. >I completely get the interloper part… I still feel like a phony when people refer to me as an athlete, since I spent nearly 40 years of my life being anything but…I think it takes a lot of courage and makes it real to just SAY the your going to run your best…so you've done the hardest part. Not that I've set any land speed records, but the training plan used by the San Diego Track Club (the group I run with) is based on long slow runs and speed workouts during the week. There are plenty of people in the club who run in Boston who train that way, so I don't think its a completely unthinkable way to train.

  5. >Seize the day, grab the bull by the horns, give it all you've got, if it's worth it you better work it, you can do it put your back into it!And any other cheesy saying you can come up with because my Petra is BACK! Go for it and go for it with all your heart!

  6. >Glad to read this post. You're right, our minds' self-image seems to have an inertia which resists accepting where we're at *now*. As Norman Vincent Peale said, periodically repeating positive statements and surrounding yourself with positive people help in this process. Good luck in your training and have a great Boston experience!

  7. >Gosh, I am just catching up and I realized how much I miss reading your blog and crawling inside that beautiful mind of yours for a brief journey. Here's the deal…you earned Boston and you deserve it. It's your race, so do it the way YOU want. Also, you apparently don't see yourself the way the rest of us see you…just saying. Susan is right, you are FABULOUS.

  8. >OK. So, I haven't commented on this post because it would not help you to just say that I understand precisely what you mean when you say "somehow my qualification doesn't count as much as everyone else's" because I felt the exact same way about me. I wanted to come up with wise and useful advice. Alas, there's none of that from me. I can only say that I have thought about this alot this past week and have reached a conclusion. The fact is that we both ran and finished a marathon within the stated rules to qualify for Boston. That's all there is to it. That's alot! It matters most that we worked hard, improved our times from previous marathons and qualified. Nothing we do or say from now on and nothing that is said by anyone else can take that away. Period. So, look forward to Boston and run it for YOU. Run it however you want to run it and do it because it will make you feel good. Most importantly, enjoy the journey getting there, even the bad weeks!! πŸ™‚ Keep running and posting and we'll keep reading, commenting and running too. Hope to hear from you soon!!

  9. >Just found your blog and LOVE it. That's what blogging is all about. You can share those Debbie Downer feelings and we'll be here to boost you back up and tell you "girlfriend, you're being crazy! You have Boston in your pocket!" πŸ™‚

  10. >Baby… you can have a bad week, a bad month or a bad year, and you still deserve what you've gotten. Run the best you can, either if for speed and to leave everything out there or if for fun. Sounds you made a decision and that's the important thing. To know what you want to get out of it. We are always here for you… besos, and much love across the Atlanticsincere-leelizzie lee

  11. >1. you BQ'ed – YOU did that! You worked hard and you made it. Be proud and celebrate. I'm one of those who some would say made it to Boston with qualifications that are "too easy." Silly – no one will take away what I did to get to Boston. In fact, I firmly believe because it was so hard for me to get there (BQ), that my experience was much more special than the typical I BQ'ed the first time I tried. You worked hard and YOU DID IT! Celebrate all the way to Boston 2011 and beyond.2. Sounds like you want a program, but it also sounds like you need one personally designed for you. I have trained doing both. Sometimes I create my own plan, sometimes I use one of the typical plans that you mentioned. I think what I like best is creating my own which includes things that I like and thrive on. For instance, I am currently following some of the Pfitz plan, but I am incorporating the Yasso 800s into my schedule because I LOVE those. Sounds like you need to focus on the things that make your training fun like the LSD run for you. Do what you love and what is motivating to YOU.3. Boston was really tough for me. I had raced "flat and fast" course for years trying to get to Boston, so I had NO (zero) experience with "racing" on hills. Yes, I trained on hills, but racing on hills is different, or it was different for me. So I would recommend a LOT of hill training. The course, for me, was hilly from 1-26 (not just the miles 16-21 that you read about). In the end, I think my time at Boston was OK, but definitely not a great finish time, but special all the same.

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