Friday, August 27, 2010

Voices in My Head

Tomorrow I'll run my second REAL 5K--Running of the Bulls. (If you've been around a while, you'll remember I have participated in three "Race for the Cure" 5Ks, but they were just for fun-I was NOT a runner then.)

My time on my first real 5K was 33:19, BUT, I was paced by the "meth head" coach from my training group.  You know, the one who said I could beat Speedy...uh...you know, the one who was RIGHT!!  (So, I guess I shouldn't still refer to him as a meth head, huh??)  BTW, that same coach will be running his first 100 miler tomorrow while I'm running my first un-paced 5K.  Wow.  ONE HUNDRED MILES!!

Anyway, enough about him.  As usual, I want to talk about me! :D

I have spent a lot of time visualizing what it will be like finishing the marathon.  But I when I think about tomorrow's race I get a little, okay - a lot - nervous.  I think the marathon is still so far away it's a complete dream to me.  I can "daydream" about it (something I truly have a hard time doing, but I'm getting better thanks to my darling, fiction-writing husband!)....but tomorrow's race is REAL.  I can't allow myself to daydream about it because it's here, it's going to happen tomorrow.  Not only that, my dreams about Rocket City are just finishing, and I believe that's doable.  There's NO chance of me not finishing tomorrow, but to daydream/visualize/...dare I say "PLAN" to do anything more than average is scary as heck to me.  That would be tantamount to setting a goal that could be unreachable.  GASP.

Until I looked at my Cookie Dash time (again: 33:19), I had set a goal of having negative splits tomorrow, and not caring what the time looked like as long as I was able to get progressively faster the whole race.  But 33:19 was darn good compared to anything I had done up to that point, so there's no reason to think I couldn't do better on this race tomorrow compared to what I've been doing in training runs...and my training run ON THAT COURSE Monday was 33:06!  (And that was with talking most of the time...although I was huffing and puffing, I hadn't gotten to where I couldn't talk.)

I have all these voices in my head.  I can "hear" the various coaches from my 10K training group--breath, pull your elbows back, pick your knees up, lean from the ankles ((all things I've now repeated enough that those tips are all in my own "voice")).  I can hear Daisy saying "You've got this girl", and "from here to the car is only six minutes...you can do that".  I can hear my sweet daughter screaming "GO DANA" at the Cotton Row finish line.  I can hear the meth-head telling me, "you're going to beat her".  (Well, he didn't say those exact words, but that's what he's saying in my head.)

One problem is that I also have some very negative thoughts in my head that are all telling me not to get hurt.  They are all very well intentioned voices, because they just want me to be careful.  But, those voices hold me back from reaching my "full" potential.  And, sometimes those voices try to convince me it's better to not try as hard as I can because it would be better to make the decision to hold back and "fail" than to go all out and have the same result.  At least if I consciously hold myself back then I can have the consolation prize of "knowing" I could have done better.  I think that's why I had set the goal to run negative splits.  You sort of HAVE to hold back in the beginning to accomplish that. 

But...how far back??  If I hold on to the "get progressively faster" goal then I'll have to stay "slower" in the beginning than what I think I can really go...and only turn on the speed in the end.  If I end up meeting that goal to the exclusion of any other time goal then I will have succeeded.

But..."succeeded" at what cost?? 

I have a STRONG desire to do really well tomorrow....and I'm really scared of not doing well.  I'm scared enough that I can see myself making plans to hold back, to make excuses, to make a conscious decision to NOT do my very best. 

"What if I fall and hurt myself??"  (If you have the sound off...you should listen to the song that's first on the list....)

There are a lot of voices in my head... But, please, "tell me like it is", and give me some more words to bounce around in my brain as I'm pounding pavement.  Don't worry if you're reading this after my race tomorrow, there will be other races. 

THANK YOU in advance for all your encouragement.  You can't know how much you all mean to me!

...Thanks for stopping in, come again TOMORROW to hear about my big race!!
:D

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Don't hold back, tell it like it is....