I’ve never been one to be full of myself, my self-confidence has never been that high.
I do a pretty good job at faking it some times. I’ve gotten so good at faking it, most people don’t even know how insecure I am for the most part. I don’t completely lack self confidence, I have some, it’s just not that high. I certainly don’t consider myself to be an egotistical person.
Unless you’re talking about running, that’s when my ego starts to show.
I don’t compete with anyone other than myself. In no way do I have an ego that makes me think I am currently in a position to ever win a race, but I do seem to think that I should always be able to run any given distance faster than I did last time. And there was a time when that was true. A glorious period of time where I was improving my times at any given distance at each race, without really having to try all that hard.
Then I became a marathon runner.
Last year was the first time I ran 2 marathons in one year. In my mind, that meant I was fitter, and faster, and better than ever before. And that was true, for the first half of last year. In the first 5 months of 2011 I set a new PB (Personal Best) in every race I ran. 8K, 10K, 5K, Half Marathon AND Marathon. Then in the fall of 2011, I set another marathon PB.
I was on fire. I was a machine. A running machine.
Then 2012 came along and I was sure I was going to have a repeat of 2011. Every race was going to be a PB, and I wasn’t going to have to try that hard. 2012 was going to be my year, and it was going to be a breeze.
Then I started racing. My 8K was 3 minutes slower, my 5K was 30 second slower my half marathon was a minute slower.
SLOWER? I don’t like going slower!
I’m supposed to be going faster, and it wasn’t supposed to be hard, after all, I’m a marathon runner.
Thankfully, my 10K time was a new PB and I BLEW my marathon time out of the water by running my first sub-4hr marathon.
So, it goes without saying that 7 weeks after running a sub-4hr marathon, I should have no problem setting a new half marathon PB, right? I mean, so what if I had 4 weeks of foot troubles and only ran more than 10K twice between the marathon & the half marathon. None of that mattered, I had just run a marathon in 3:59:35, it would be no problem to run a 1:50:00 half marathon. That makes perfect sense.
Well, it turns out that I was wrong.
It turns out that running a half marathon, 7 weeks after a marathon, with only 2 serious distance training runs, is not how you set a PB. It turns out that my ego was writing cheques my body couldn’t cash.
I went in to the race thinking a PB was a possibility, I just had to push myself. I went in to it thinking a PB was a possibility, and sub1:50:00 could actually happen. I went in to it optimistic.
Everything was going well until about 16K. I’d had a few struggles before that, but 16 was when my right calf muscle started talking to me. It knew that our good friend, The Burrard St Bridge, was coming up soon, and it was telling me that if I kept pushing it like I was, then it was going to stop working. I had to start holding back, I had to slow the pace, I had to start thinking about just finishing, just getting the medal.
When I crossed the line, the clock said close to 1:56:00. I was devastated. When I found out my time, it was 1:55:18, almost 2 minutes slower than my PB. It was a reality check. It made me realize that I’m not a machine and setting a PB was not just going to be as easy as a walk in the park.
It turns out that my chip time for the race was 1:54:21, only 40 seconds slower than my half marathon PB. Given the circumstances, I’m satisfied with that. I’ve come to accept that even though I’m a ‘marathon runner’, I still need to train for shorter races. Person Best times will not just be handed to me on a platter, I have to work for them and earn them.
There will be no more races for me in 2012, except the Marathon in October.
2013 is going to be my year for setting new personal best times. Each race will be planned for, every rave will be a goal race. Everything will be planned and accounted for, and every PB will be given my all, and it will be well deserved.
No more letting my ego write cheques my body can’t cash!!