Wednesday, May 14, 2008

So, Are You Ready For Ottawa?

It's replaced, "Hi, how are you?" as a greeting, and it's not just me asking myself. I'm feeling roller-coaster, hill-drop butterflies every time I think about the race. A good sign--I am taking this race seriously--and clearly have a healthy respect for the marathon distance.

A few weeks ago, I'd decided it was worth running. My training hasn't been perfect, I did lose some time a few months ago due to flu. I had imagined I'd be running even more and harder than I am. But, my training has been honest and dedicated. I have run every run to the best of my ability. I can look myself in the eye in the mirror and say, "Yes, you did do the very best you could do with what you were dealt." I have no regrets. I have missed nothing. And I have cut myself no slack. I poured myself into this commitment, and I have seen it through to the letter.

But, still, I didn't think that it was enough. I would run this marathon, and I most certainly would have a PR. A sub-4:00 marathon, even, seems doable. But 3:50? I was pretty sure this was out of my league... this time around. And I regularly convicted myself of falling short of that goal, articulating that I couldn't quite do THAT, in those little conversations that I have with myself. Sure, a PR, but not 3:50.

Then, and old friend asked me that same question. "So, are you ready for Ottawa?" And suddenly the conversation turned to my goals and I was asked, "What is your marathon PR?" (It's 4:16:52.) Doesn't take a math whiz to figure out I'm talking about chopping off a large block of time totaling 26 minutes. Helpfully, just in case I couldn't do the math (anyone who runs marathons for fun should be suspected of reasoning and logic deficiencies), this dear friend pointed out that is one minute per mile less than I have ever run a marathon.

Which of course, did something interesting. I suddenly found myself defending all of the reasons why I could actually do this. How hard I've been training, how my training has been focused on this goal. And then I got to thinking, maybe I can? And since I've felt really good these last few weeks, and I am healthy, strong and injury-free, things are really coming together. Even the first weather report I've seen for Ottawa, CA couldn't be more ideal for a marathon (Thanks, Rick for the accuweather link!):

And that thought... changed everything. Suddenly, I put myself on the hook to run a 3:50 in this race. Which is why I'm a nervous wreck now.

1 comment:

Rick said...

You can do this! I took 26 minutes off of my PR in one training season last year, and you are following a much more stringent training schedule.