Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It’s all in my head

Running, Kim Kardashian, and explosions
Isn't that what all guys are thinking about?
Probably. Unless it isn’t all in my head. Then I’m in trouble.

In a recent blog post, elite women’s marathoner Kara Goucher declared “I’m Back!” Referring to her pre-pregnancy speed and ability. In her blog she says: “The workout was a 10-mile tempo run at marathon pace. I averaged 5:22 per mile. ……. I celebrated by running another seven miles. (There’s no rest for the weary marathoner on a 120-miles-per-week schedule!)”

Good lord, where should I start. The pace? The weekly mileage? My wife permitting, the fact that Kara needs to dump HER Adam and get with another different kind of Adam? What these elite athletes do on a day to day basis amazes me**. However, when I was reading further down in her post, I was immediately drawn to something else she said about her mental state [edited for length]: Now that I’ve hit my tempo run milestone, I’m really looking forward to my next race. I’m nervous about it, because this is the first race since I started my comeback where I expect to run up to my usual standards, no excuses. At some point, I know the race is going to get really tough, and when that happens I want to avoid giving in and feeling sorry for myself. If I stay mentally strong the whole way through, the numbers will take care of themselves.

As I sit here 4 weeks out from my next marathon, I can’t help but let my mind wander through a number of naughty places scenarios about my race day performance. I’m sort of like a dog that knows he is going to be let out to play. I’m so damn excited I’m jumping at the door – but any second I might pee all over myself. I know that I’m not as well trained as I could be, but I’m still in the same basic PR shape that I’ve been in the past, so I shouldn’t let my head get in the way. I need to focus on not feeling sorry for myself.

Since being on these meds, I’ve ran 3 times for a total of 13 miles. Each time I’ve ran around my long run pace of 7:45 and have felt basically fine. I can tell that something is “off”, but I’m still able to put one foot in front of the other.

So, while Kara can pull off the booty shorts and belly shirt, I’d like to think that we actually do have something in common***. We both need to remind ourselves to think happy thoughts and trust our training. So, that is what I am going to do. Focus on the positive (I’m not hurt) and run the best race I can****. Honestly? I’m excited about it, I hope I just don’t pee on the floor.

What does everyone else do when they know they are going into a race less than 100% prepared?



**Are they elite poopers too? “15 seconds, BAM!”
***The belly shirt
****While not pooping myself

33 comments:

Jamoosh said...

Going into a race at less than 100% means adjusting my expectations accordingly and thusly my strategy for the race. Probably not the answer you were looking for. Might I suggest running toward the finish as fast as possible before you drop...

Tricia said...

I prefer to remain oblivious to the fact that I'm not completely prepared and instead live in the dream world that I've created in my head.




not what you were looking for?

Jamie said...

I just have fun with it. That's sort of the point. right? it's not like we're not getting paid like Kara. I wish.

Kovas said...

You could totally pull off the booty shorts and belly shirt. You're as 100% prepared as you are going to be, so just accept it. Kim Kardashian and Homer Simpson - you are one strange dude.

funderson said...

"When I know I'm not prepared" is every race for me...so I just show up.

XLMIC said...

As for peeing on the floor... save that excitement for the race ;-) I'm agreeing with Jamie, 100%.

Run with Jess said...

Not prepared?! What?! What the hell, have fun with it. Really, who is ever as ready as they want to be?

Nobel4Lit said...

I love that Homer running the marathon episode!

Detroit Runner(Jeff) said...

I just remember that it's only a race against myself and just have fun. I mean, that is why we run to begin with right?

Laurie said...

This post shot my confidence to ever run again -- reading about 5:22 miles status-post popping out a human makes me feel like a slug.

Cynthia O'H said...

There are times that it can be tough to stay positive. Finding the mental strength to do that is the same power we need to run.

Small Town Runner said...

I am a total head case too.

BTW...just figured out that your meds are antibiotics. After my injury, an older friend asked if I was taking any (no, thank God) ....I had never thought that an antibiotic could cause tendon damage.

Hope all is going well in your training!

Barefoot Neil Z said...

I try to keep up with the elites for as ling as I can (100-200 feet usually) then I try to count the number of people who pass me for the remainder of the race. This method is good for getting to know everyone in the race.

Adrienne said...

Wow, people are 100% prepared for races? I never knew this. Thanks for the added stress for race days.

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

first part of me just has to say i kind of hate her for being faster post baby than I will ever be...but that's another story :)

mental training is huge for the marathon. I think there is definitely a large part of a great race coming down to just deciding you are ready and reliving those training runs...and knowing you can't control the rest

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

I think she's on the next cover of Runner's World to but it looks like she never even got a stretch mark. hmph. I am in the corrals so far back that I only see the elite's as I'm trying to get to those corrals. So that's how prepared I am on race day. I seriously only worry about the weather on race day. I don't have good luck with not running in snow or rain.

C2Iowa said...

I needed a good laugh and some "perspective" -- thanks.

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

i ran a 5:22 mi once? I stepped on a snake about a mile away from home and sprinted all the way back screaming like a teenage girl! I put it down in my logs as "speedwork"

Chanda M. DeFoor said...

It amazes me how much of running is mental. We can talk ourselves into and out of almost anything. The butterflies don't help. You're well-trained. You'll be great! Don't go to the dark side...

ShutUpandRun said...

Just roll with it. Accept you are underprepared but don't let it rule you and psych you out.

Laura said...

When I'm not 100% prepared, I remind myself that I have a blog post to write afterward, and I don't want to write about my failure, particularly if it was caused by own laziness in not training (how embarrassing). That gets my butt in gear!

Phoebe said...

I've picked a new (for me) goal for my 1/2 marathon this weekend. I'm going to try and run the second half faster than the first. This is going to be very tough for me, as I generally peter out big time (yeah, I said "peter") after the first 1/2. Good luck and always, always, have fun!

Dash said...

You can pull off the booty shorts too. (when I say "pull off", I don't mean pull them off while running)

Kara is a great motivator for staying strong in a race and not letting your demons get you. You'll be surprised how quick you come back after being on those meds!!

Emily said...

I love it!! I'm all about the mental edge in a race. I'm totally reminding myself about Kara (who btw i have a total girl crush on) and her attitude when I'm toeing the start in boston.

SupermomE12 said...

"If I stay mentally strong the whole way through, the numbers will take care of themselves." What an awesome quote! Thanks for posting. I have my next marathon in just over two weeks and that is great advice I needed to hear. ;)

I know of lots of people who have gone into marathons undertrained and the rest actually left them stronger and faster. I bet you'll surprise yourself! Trust the training and have fun (and don't pee yourself!!) :)

JessiePants said...

You will do GREAT. The mental aspect of running can be just as difficult to deal with as working up our physical strength.

kilax said...

Great post! You do sometimes just have to trust your body... I feel like I have to remind myself that every time I go out for a run! Just that "I can do this!"

Tim Wilson said...

That is how I felt for this past marathon.... it is why I ran the half.... it wasn't worth hurting myself. Now, I am all for pushing forward in most cases, but I was not only under-trained.... but also somewhat injured.

Katie said...

I didn't read this I just laughed at the picture :D

Nej said...

My next half marathon in May 1st. I just got off the phone with my orthopedic specialist and physical therapist. Ugh! Not what I want to have to start doing 4 weeks before a race. :-)

Jill said...

I have been talking a lot to my PT about a sports psychologist...or rather, he's pushing one on me. Hum....

Mike said...

I always have my main goal that I really want bad and a secondary goal that I can live with. However, every race I enter regardless if I am less than 100% I tackle it like I am 100%.

SquirrelHead said...

I have no idea what your post says after the picture of Kara Goucher came up. I am sure it was witty and full of important information but after the fifth time trying to ignore the picture and read the words, I decided the picture wins every time.