I’m my biggest barrier.

I’m hoping that just the act of putting it into words will help me further understand what I need to do…bear with me.

Many of you have been with me over the last 3 months since my last race. You’ve gone through the highs and some lows with me in terms of training, but overall, I have felt as though I have become stronger and faster. My goal time for the half on Sunday was sub 1:39 and really, considering the paces I’ve held during my training runs, that should have been doable.

It was anything but. I just about killed myself to get a 1:42. And yes, people say “That’s a great time” – but that’s not the point. The point is that my long runs on the weekend, at 13 miles, were faster than that and I felt great during them. On Sunday, I felt like utter MISERY during the race. Seriously. My heart rate was 183 and I hit 191 at one point. During training runs it’s consistently 163. So what went wrong? Well, let’s consider some things…

The race was well organized – including the corrals.

The weather was not great – humid at the start and pouring rain half way through until the end – but it really wasn’t a big deal.

I didn’t start out too fast – in fact I was dead on pace.

The course wasn’t flat, but it wasn’t HUGE hills.

My ITB problems were non-existent.

So that just leaves…ME. And has left me doing a lot of hard thinking. This is what I have come up with so far…

While I had a goal finish time, my real goal in races (and probably has been since I ran Boston) is to enjoy the race. To not be miserable, to not feel like I killed myself to get to the finish line. And what I’m starting to realize is that I stress A LOT about the factors that COULD affect whether I enjoy the race. And it’s making me a nervous wreck on race day.

I worry about whether I will eat too little or eat too much the day before and morning of, am I hydrating too much or too little? What will the weather be? How do I dress for that? What do I wear while waiting for the race to start – what can I take off and discard once the race starts? Will I be late for the race, how do I avoid getting there too early? How do I get there with enough time but not too much that I have to use a porta-potty and risk a long line-up that will risk bad placement in my corral.  See? I’m losing my mind. It’s like every single big or small challenge or bad experience that I’ve had at a previous race becomes a potential problem at the next race – ALL OF THEM AT THE SAME TIME.

And trust me, I worried about all of those things for this race. To the point where I had to turn the music off in the car while heading to the race because it was making me more anxious. By the time I was lined up in my corrals, I thought I was going to throw-up and my heart was RACING. And it never got better. Only worse. At mile 7 (which is also when the downpour started) I just wanted it to end.

And I hate that. I am left feeling completely unsatisfied. I was so looking forward to this race – enjoying the atmosphere, seeing other runners of all abilities running together, the crowd support, being able to run throughout the city with traffic blocked off…and while I crossed the finish line, I feel like I didn’t appreciate one second of it – which is WHY I run and do these races in the first place.

So that’ll be my training focus until the Vegas half marathon in November. Focus on getting myself out of my brain.

And I promise – tomorrow’s post will be way more fun…I’ll tell you about the crazy Adventures M and I got up to over the weekend!!

Happy (stress-free LOL!) Monday!!!

2 thoughts on “I’m my biggest barrier.

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