I'm all jittery this morning. I hope that sitting down and writing out some of my feelings will help.
Last year at this time all of the pieces were falling into place as I prepared for the Boston Marathon. Months of training were on the books and I'd executed as closely to plan as possible. In the final weeks I was tweaking my food and nutrition plan to ensure that I knew exactly what would work for me both before and during the race. My race outfit was good to go including some new shorts that I used for my last 20 miler to ensure no unforseen chafing issues would arise. I was eating carefully for maximum nutrition and to ensure I was as lean as possible for the race. While I was nervous I was also confident in the training and planning I'd put into my preparation.
This year is so different. The only training plan I've been able to follow since I hurt myself on Christmas Day has been a mishmash of everything I've done in the past. I've had a few decent speed workouts, I got in a couple of 20 milers (at a pace significantly slower than ever before). I even had one week that I managed to squeak out 45 miles. Compare that to last year when I ran each workout according to an exact plan. I had multiple 55 mile weeks and three 20 miler long runs. On the weeks I didn't have a 20 for my long run I still often had 17 or 18. I ran tune up races and marathon paced long runs. When it came time to taper I knew I was ready. Now with 12 days until the marathon I have no idea what I should be doing. It feels weird to say I'm tapering because to me you taper from your peak. I never felt like I reached a peak so to then back off just feels wrong. When I take it easy I beat myself up that I should be working harder, when I work hard I beat myself up that I should be taking it easy.
Here's what I think it all comes down to. I've never before run a race where my goal was not to run faster than I ever had before. A PR has always been my goal. This year I know that a PR is not a possibility. And for all the talk about how I'm just going for the experience and how I'm just happy to be there after what's happened in the last couple months, it is a majorly pride sucking experience to know I'm going to go and run the slowest marathon I ever have. I kind of feel like a fraud. I want to wear a sign on my back that tells everyone that I am only 9 weeks post-op from my knee surgery. I want an asterisk by my name on the results page.
And that comes down to nothing more than pride. I run because I love it but I also run because I'm good at it. And if I'm honest while I can do lots of stuff pretty well I don't do anything great. And don't bother trying to disagree with me because you'd be wrong and the point of this blog is not to get lots of you to pat my ego. My ego doesn't need patting, but my pride sure needs a kick in the butt. You can pray for me on that one. Thanks.