I have decided to train for the Vancouver Marathon (May 6 2012). I did my first marathon in 2009; I was only concerned about finishing and less concerned about time. I did my second marathon in 2010 and trained for it entirely by myself, so again I was less concerned about time and only wanting to prove to myself I could this on my own.
Now, this is marathon #3 and I am really hoping to break 4 hours. Unfortunately I didn’t do a lot of running in 2011; I wasn’t ever able to commit to my exercise goals. I accomplished doing the sun run, and the 30 km run around Cultus, and ran probably only twice a week at the most during the year.
Training for the marathon started the first week of January, and truthfully I’ve felt I’ve been struggling a bit. We are doing the shortest distances and slowest paces and it has been hard for me to find my stride. Often I have felt out of breath, tired, tense, and my knees have started to bother me over the last year. At times, I have questioned if my long distance running hobby is going to be limited to only a few years if my knees give out. On the other hand, when I was in California, this guy had was wearing a home made T shirt that said he had done 100 Ultra marathons and 70 marathons or something like that. (If he can do it, why can’t I?)
On Sundays the group does long runs, this Sunday scheduled a 13 km run. I was feeling very apprehensive about this run because:
- The snow/ice/windstorms throughout the past week kept my indoors on my couch – I only managed to go to the gym once even though I intended to go at least 3-4 times.
- This morning looked quite icy and I expected to be slipping and sliding everywhere while trying to run
- I was out quite late the night before, at a pub, where I consumed deep fried food and 2 long island ice teas
To my surprise, I had the best run since starting training 3 weeks ago. The route was only icy for a short while at the start then it was fine, and the temperature was just right. I’ve also met two wonderful ladies in my running group who are also trying for a four hour marathon, so I have people to run with.
This morning I felt so relaxed and strong. I needed this, something to boost my spirits, now I am confident I will be successful in my training and the race.
There are possibly two lessons here, depending on one’s level of optimism:
1) Becoming consumed with worry that you won’t make your goals is not a productive use of time while pursuing your goals. Go have fun and everything will fall into place.
2) Expect the worst outcomes so you’re pleasantly surprised when things exceed your level of expectation leaving you feeling elated and confident.