My new Mantra:
SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS
I know, what a concept!?? I know, its very simple, but something I have overlooked over the past 3 years.
For some time I have treated my new-found sport of running as simply a fun, social past-time, never really setting any goals or expectations...I would sign up for any and every race I could and I ran as many miles as I could because I absolutely love trail running. However, with the lack of structure and adequate rest and recovery from these long distance races failure began to happen. With 2 DNF's in 8 months due to a lingering back injury that got out of control I began to experience the defeat of failure. All because,
I simply did not want to take sport seriously again after years and years of being a full time athlete who took her sport perhaps too seriously for her own good.
I say this to my athletes all the time now: failure is not a bad thing as long as you can learn lessons from your failures, and apply those lessons so as not repeat the failure.
So I sat down, scratched my forehead and came to the brilliant realization (duh) that I absolutely DO need to treat my body, my races, and my training with respect and I CAN indeed set myself some realistic goals and strategies to achieve those, even with little desire to compete in sport seriously anymore.
My first step...goal-setting
I set myself some goals and researched key workouts to achieve them. Now I share them with you for two reasons:
1) because I know myself well, if I actually state them, then I am accountable to you..and I will do what I can to achieve them.
2) I hope you learn from my failures and the process inspires you to set yourself some goals and path to success as well
1) To run <40 minute at a 10km within the year I turn 40, I am now 39 and 4 days young!
2) To run <1:35 at a 1/2 marathon
3) To run <3:30 at the Boston Marathon April 20, 2015, for which I qualified last year.
4) To run < 5:30 at a 50km ultra.
These are most of my past results so I think my goals are hopefully doable...
2nd step...addressing my weaknesses
My Christmas present to myself, 4 sessions with a local running coach (Dave Cressman of Distance Runwear) to assess my goals and my gait which I will start in a few weeks after I recover from this past weekend.
This past weekend I ran the Victoria Marathon. I was physically very unprepared for a personal best, but I approached it with a race-plan I new would work for me, and I even tapered!
I knew I had not trained beyond the 30km distance since May (I signed up for this race before my back injury)...so I simply "raced" the first half at a pace I knew from my training I could hold and beyond then I just kept moving forward while enjoying the beautiful moments of an awesome race. I felt absolutely fantastic, was so happy I had very little back issues, and actually had to hold myself back in the first half, went through the half way point at 1:42 which is still a decently fast clip for me.
I had so much fun embracing my fitness for about 28kms the rest involved a fast-ish marathon wobble on two cramped quads. But thanks to my awesome boyfriend who supported me for the entire last 1/2 of the race, and 42.2 kms of awesome volunteers and roads covered in people cheering, I kept smiling through my self-induced suffering. I still pulled off a 3:38:30 with a fly-and-die race plan. This was a success in my mind, and a 2016 Boston Qualifying time to boot, just in case I want to do it again next year.
Cheers to taking steps towards success!