The waiting game is almost over, and I’m really itching to get back out there in a more structured, every-day-has-its-significance type of way that comes with marathon training. With just one more week, and one more race (Thursday’s all-ladies’ 10k…PS come say hi!!!), until I *officially* start training again for Chicago and NYC, I feel like I’m chompin’ at the bits to see what else is in the tank, what else I can unearth.
If I’m being honest with myself, this “maintenance” plan that I put together was aggressive, but–patting myself on the back here–I’ve backed off from it, and considerably so at times. Erin, in 2007, wouldn’t have done that because she would have thought that training plans were written in blood (or something equally serious and permanent). Fast-forward to present-day Erin, and she knows that we write our training plans with a very easy-to-smudge, lightweight pencil (and she also apparently drops third-person references in her writings).
Nonetheless, or maybe because of the flexibility that I’ve given myself over the past few weeks, and in the weeks and months post-Eugene, I feel like my confidence levels heading into training for mary #20 and #21 are where they should be. That I’ve been able to race somewhat frequently and perform somewhat well, given my lack of focused training, is like (vegan) icing on the (vegan) cake.
That said, don’t ask me about my CM/NYC goals yet because I really have no idea. Minimally, I’m confident that if I challenge myself, or my body, this time around in ways that I haven’t before, she’ll respond (more third-person references FTW!).
No doubt part of this soliloquy is me cleaning house of all the “head trash” that so easily accumulates when I feel like I’m not good enough, fast enough, strong enough, thin enough, whatever enough.
I hate that it accumulates so easily. Loathe it, really.
Going out on a limb here, but I’d guess that like many other runners, I so easily get caught up in the dirty game of comparison and the hypothetical If I upped my mileage by X%, then I’d be X minutes faster or the recurring If I lost X pounds, I bet I could drop minutes off my PRs, among other sentiments.
I have absolutely no time for that nonsense (ironic only because you’d think as a mostly SAHM, I’d have tons of time on my hands. How far from the truth that is, amigos). Anyway. I absolutely cannot afford to spend offensive amounts of time deliberating the merit of my abilities or how things would be different for me “if only.”
Truth be told, if I really, truly wanted things to be different, nothing is stopping them from being so. Rationally, however, I know I’m in a fine place; it’s just pure emotion that periodically hijacks me.
What would probably behoove me most is to trust myself.
And the process.
God bless the process.
I need to keep re-reading what I wrote just a few paragraphs ago, about how I was still able to race and perform relatively well post-Eugene, in the absence of concerted training and race preparation efforts, to remind myself that I’m not starting anew. What I’m about to embark on is merely a continuation of what I started—and how I very much surprised myself—in the winter and spring. Thursday’s 10k, much as these past few weeks have been, will be like a soft beginning to my fall marathon training. I haven’t figured out a race strategy yet–that’ll come in the next few days and might, unfortunately, be dictated by the weather–but it’ll be a good baseline, if nothing else. Anyway…
When I was in the throes of Eugene training, through the Lenten season, I decided to kill the negative self-talk (and the daily weigh-in) because both make me a bit neurotic and because, really, neither one help me realize my overarching goals (in running or in life, really). While it took some time to get used to, especially nixing the self-deprecation, I found it quite liberating once I got away from the habit of constantly thinking that I was undoubtedly not good enough, fast enough, light enough, whatever enough to be able to perform on April 28.
As I transition to hard-and-fast marathon training starting here in a few more days, minimizing the “head trash” is still the one habit that is challenging me. Running is rarely problematic, and the ancillary stuff has become so custom that I often feel like if I fail to do it, I’m letting people down (these people being my imaginary cheerleaders on dailymile, ha). Like any habits, though, I imagine that creating the more-often-than-not positive mental space takes time, and just like the ancillary stuff that’s so important, so, too, is this stuff. And, once it’s habit, it’s habit.
If I want to be at my fastest and fittest ever come October 13 and November 3, I’ve got to clean mental house.
I’ve no room for trash in there; that real estate is far, far too expensive.
I’ll only exude that quiet confidence and beat people whom I shouldn’t be beating come race day not only if I’ve put in the miles and the ancillary stuff but also once I’ve convinced myself that I’m totally, utterly, completely capable.
What say you? Do you ever have to clean ‘mental’ house? How do you keep being your own cheerleader, or maybe more importantly, how do you believe all the positive things you tell yourself?