So, tomorrow I'm racing the Girlfriend's Half Marathon in Vancouver, Washington. I've been registered for this race for many months. Although I've had it on the calendar for over half a year, there was something about finishing two marathons in two months that made me just want to play around for the summer. You know, have fun and not have anything on the the dock to specifically train for. So, play around I did. But I still ran. And I think I ran enough to have not lost too much fitness. Am I in the same shape as I was for my spring half marathons? Certainly not! But mentally, I just might be at a better place. I may not be in peak racing shape, but I am feeling good and I am excited to have FUN running tomorrow. My heart isn't set on a goal but sometimes having that pressure off ends up working out well for me. My only goals are:
1. To have fun
2. Enjoy feeling strong
3. Push myself just a bit past what is comfortable (at least at the end).
Since college, I've been pretty soft as a runner. I've been fine just running what is "safe" and "comfy" for the most part. This is fine. And this is even fine for tomorrow but I want to try to pick at least one or two miles of the race (preferably the end) where I just dig a little deeper and "practice" pushing myself past that comfort zone. Just saying that makes me a little nervous but not to the point of mental shut down like my nerves used to do to me. Because I know that if I don't, then that is okay too. I'm enough no matter what I do.
I received several uplifting e-mails recently. I feel so blessed with my friends. One e-mail from Nicole at I Dream of Running was worth sharing with you. It is an e-mail that all of us can benefit from! Just plug your name in and maybe change the times to fit your goals, skip some of the intro and then read it, put it in your running journal, or tape it to your mirror. Awesome words Nicole. Thank you friend! I hope you reread your own letter before you race in a few weeks.
"Dear ____(insert your name here)______,
Hey you! I know we already talked this morning but I wanted to make sure you knew how much I believe in you!
You are strong
You are a fighter
You are FAST
You are determined
You have STRONG legs
You have a strong MIND
Running is 90% mental, 10% physical
You are going to do awesome tomorrow! Get your head in the game and take it on! I find I always need to psyche myself up before a race. Visualize the race, visualize running fast, passing people, pushing hard, and finishing STRONG.
Don't for one second let the fact that you haven't been in full training make you think you can't kill this and do super well. You CAN. All the work you've put into your body over the last year doesn't just disappear b/c you took a few months of easy running.
Your body will perform when you tell it to.
So excited girl!!!
Now...all this is said to motivate you NOT pressure you! whether you run a 1:38 or a 1:30, it doesn't matter as long as you race with your whole heart and feel GREAT afterward for the effort you put in. But I KNOW you are capable of a very fast race.
Love you girl!
And more than anything, HAVE FUN and just take in the JOY OF RUNNING!!!"
Hope this e-mail charges you up as much as it did me. I feel blessed to have good friends. Several of you have sent some pretty awesome words to me lately and it makes me smile to know that I am loved. Thank you friends. I'm thankful for friends who help me be the best me and encourage me even when they know that this isn't a race I'm too invested in. For friends that I can share the passion and joy for running with. For friends that just "GET" me.
Happy racing this weekend!