I skyped with my coach on Saturday and confessed, I was nervous about my 18 miler run that I was scheduled to run yesterday. I was running solo but using that as a reason for my nerves is just an excuse. I see that now. In all reality, I feared failure.
When I posted about my run on Daily Mile I called it a successful failure. In fact, I called my long runs in general a successful failure. I still believe that but don't worry, I am not dwelling on the failure part. I see the success and embrace the success. The thing is, I am trying really, really hard to run negative splits. To start out slow. I feel I need to do this come race day in order to achieve my goals. I did a pretty good job of it on my recent 16 miler. That run rocked the boat! That run contributed to my anxiety level for the 18 miler. As much as I wanted a repeat performance of awesomeness I knew I didn't need a repeat performance to achieve my race day goals. I do not need to run 9'09" miles to break a 4:20 marathon. I don't. In fact I need to run a 9'54.9" technically but I am training on a 9'50" GMP (goal marathon pace). I like that flex room. It will bring me in at 4:17.49 assuming no slow downs or pit stops. We all know that isn't true.
With the length of my run yesterday I knew it changed the elevation profile of my course with an uphill at the end; however, I still envisioned doing the first half slower and then picking up the pace the second half with perhaps more of a speed pick up in the final four miles. If you have been following my long run discussions you will know my plans ALWAYS change.
The first mile was faster than I wanted. I was running downhill to start and I did tell myself to ease up. Yeah, that didn't work as well as I hoped. Fortunately the uphill climbs were working themselves in more predominantly and that helped me slow down but in all reality, when I hit the 8-mile mark I was ahead of where I was the previous week with my 16 miler run. Oh geeze, I was going up faster than the week before. This had me nervous to some extent. When I hit the halfway point my average pace was 9'41", not 10'13" like the week before. 36 seconds. That could mean a lot.
And this week my halfway point wasn't a turn around to a decline. I was on a hillier portion of the road and it felt like I was going up, up, up with very little downs. I feel my paces for miles 10 and 12 adequately reflect my rate of perceived exertion. I do want to note, I didn't make the attempt to really pick up my pace on the return for two reasons:
- I wanted to finish the 18 miles feeling good about the run.
- I was already below my GMP at the halfway point. I felt my goal of running 9 miles at 9'50" was achieved.
To me the run was a success because:
- I finished it.
- My average pace was 9'37" meaning the second half was ever so slightly faster. Not as much as I would hope with the downhills but who am I to argue?
- My legs are not beat up today.
Here is the Honolulu Marathon course elevation profile.
How do you get yourself out of the doubt trap?
Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the exercise ball I sit on at work.
Daily Affirmation: I am growing in strength and confidence.