Saturday, December 3, 2011

"Run Your Own Race"

I think I'm finally getting a grasp on what this statement means for me.

See, I can tell other people all day long what it means for them.  Trust your training.  Pay attention to your body.  Focus on yourself.  Don't get sucked into a pace that is faster, or slower, than what is "comfortable" for you.  Adrenaline can carry you away at the start line and have you speeding away from your intended pace faster than you can look at your Garmin.  You feel great so you start convincing yourself you can hold this pace the whole time...only to putter out half way through (or faster as was the case for me in the Huntsville Half).

So with this in mind...I am beginning to work through a race strategy for the marathon.  My first marathon.  The marathon I will run in just SIX days from now.  The marathon which has been in my cross hairs for almost two years.  The marathon I've been training for long has this training group been meeting?  (Feels like six months!)

Okay...for all the talk, I am not feeling confident about a 4 hour goal.  I was confident...but not anymore.  Everything hurts and I haven't had a really great run (except my PR 5K last week) in a long while.  I'm not ruling it out completely, because I keep hearing how the taper will make me feel GREAT come race day.  At the same time, I'm not going to hold onto it at the expense of reality.  Because I don't feel super confident about it, I don't plan (right now) to start out with the 4:00 pace group.

So...the million dollar question is, what will I do?  Will I "run my own race" and just start the race and run what feels right at the time?  Will I come up with a set race strategy (even splits, negative splits, X pace for this many miles, then X pace for so many more...)?  Will I find another pace group to hang with?  If so, which one.

I'll tell you right now...I have no idea.  My head is swimming.  I wish I could coach myself and tell me like I would tell someone else what they need to do.  The problem is my mind.  I have a whole host of fears swimming around in my head.

Maybe I'll start by naming my fears and then planning my strategy to overcome those hurdles.  After all...I think a HUGE aspect of running a marathon is mental.  (You know, since I'm an expert at it!)

For now I'll just say I don't know what I don't know and all the planning in the world won't give me what I'll have this time next week...experience.

Thanks for stopping in, come again soon!


  1. Dana - you sound just like I did before I did my 1st marathon. Taper madness has definitely set in. The only thing I can tell you is 1st off, throw away having a time goal and having to keep a certain pace. Go out there and run according to how you feel, trust your training and you'll do great! Don't worry about having a race strategy. You can worry about that for the next marathon. Go out with this one just to finish then assess what you've learned and then get a good plan for the next one. You're going to be fabulous and this is such an enjoyable experience. We'll see you at the finish line!

  2. Taper madness has set in. It's completely normal to be nervous and doubtful a week away from the big date. As I've told you, don't let any time goal interfere with the experience that is your first marathon. Sure, I could have run my first one faster. So, I signed up for another one and ran it faster. There is NOTHING like your first marathon.

    You are so ready for this. And if you do start out too fast, so what? Pretty much every marathoner has made that mistake. If you start out too slow, well, most have made that mistake, too. You are fine. Relax this week. Celebrate your training on Saturday!

  3. You can do it! Good luck with your race.

  4. Hey Dana! You will be great!! I will be there on Saturday to cheer on you & Doug. Send me your race number on facebook if you get it ahead of time. If you survived tri camp, you can do anything. Hope to talk to you after the race!


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