When you need to beat the course

Running is 99% mental

For those of you who don’t know – the Dallas Marathon course is my rival, of sorts.  I trained for it but didn’t get to run it in 2013 because of an unbelievable ice storm (aka Ice-mageddon) that caused cancellation of the race.  Then in 2014, I trained really stupidly and ended up with massive IT issues which put a cramp in my race….literally.  So this year is kind-of like a redemption – 3rd time is a charm.  I hope.IMG_6393

However, wanting something too badly can cause problems, mentally.  I’ve seen it time and time again on the volleyball court.  Those rivalries…sometimes the rivalries are between teams and sometimes can be between individual players.  In any case, when one team or individual is trying to “prove” themselves, it ALWAYS ends badly because they usually end up playing to impress instead of playing their game.  Even Alli is looking forward to facing some former teammates – a former coach, really – and I have already started cautioning her that if we do face them at some point in the season – she needs to just PLAY her game, without concern about who is on the other side of the net.

How does this all relate to me?  I REALLY want to beat that Dallas Marathon course.  I NEED to beat that course.  But I know that focusing on beating the course rather than actually racing this Sunday will spell disaster.  I’ve been using this taper as a time to get my mind right so that I am mentally prepared for the race.  Right now, two days before the race, I think I am in a good place.  Of course, an onset of taper madness could happen at a moment’s notice and I could have a mental breakdown! LOL

As I write this, I have an overwhelming sense of peace.  (Race jitters would have prevented me saying that two days ago!)  Maybe some of the pressure is taken off, because I finished last year under TERRIBLE and PAINFUL conditions.  I now know I have the resolve to make it to the finish line.  (I’ve joked that I could crawl and finish better than last year, which, sadly, isn’t much of a joke.)  I have an amazing coach, who, despite the weaknesses I have coming back from recent injuries, has delivered me to the start line stronger than I could ever have hoped.  I feel like I am in a good position to come close to my goal.  But if I miss my goal, I miss my goal.  Things will happen on race day that are out of my control and I am ready to adjust to handle whatever comes my way.  I will be satisfied (I hope) by running a strong race and finding a way to overcome the challenges of the day.

My only wish is that I owned a time-turner, so that I could fast-forward to race day already!

Supportive friends make all the difference

It means SO MUCH when friends take the time to wish you well on your race.  The support of my running community is overwhelming.  And they are the ones that understand my type of  crazy and the challenges that race day can bring….heck, even the challenges that training brought to get me to the start line!

But then there are my non-running friends.  The ones who just shake their heads at me when I get so excited about a track workout or the fact that I get to run 20 miles on my long run this weekend.  These are ones who don’t understand my type of crazy but choose to love me anyway.  I can’t even describe the wonderful feeling I get every time they wish me good luck, because they do it even though they don’t understand why I do it.

One of my dear friends, Carmen, ALWAYS sends me inspirational memes leading up to my races.  It boggles my mind that she can even remember to do this every time!

Who could be nervous about their race with support like this??IMG_6398

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TWO.  MORE.  DAYS.

But now, I need to go get ready for my Taylor’s college graduation this afternoon!

Happy Friday!

Jen

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4 responses to “When you need to beat the course

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