Here I am in week 2 for the Chicago marathon and I have intentionally been keeping my workouts and goals rather quiet. Its not that I don't want to share, or that I am afraid that someone is going to pilot my training schedule and there will be a chicagorunnergirl doppelganger out there...its because I'm being a fearful dweeb. Yes that is right, I am a dweeb.
Goals are what drive me to move forward in life and try new things. I enjoy conquering my fears (well most of them) and overcoming a challenge coming out on the end a stronger me. But fear is also at times what holds me back, making me a terrified little girl that just wants to hide behind my Momma. I have always known that I am a chicken, and moments like last falls Chicago marathon are burned into my memory reminding me of this on a constant basis. While I have gained quite a bit of self confidence this year in running, I do still have "the fear" when it relates to the marathon. Six marathons are behind me, with only 1 that actually enjoyed myself in. That race I ran as a bandit back in 2004, I know total faux pas, clocking a 3:28 and felt like I could have kept going. It was an amazing experience and I'll save the story for another day. But the other 5 were a losing battle against myself.
So here I am, week 2 day 2 and I still can't decide on my training schedule. I develop each one of my training programs after researching the best workouts for my goal distance, studying pace charts, reading countless articles and studies, and comparing past schedules. It is a labor of love. This year has been a good one for me where I think that I have finally figured out the workouts that my body needs to be able to achieve my goals. Three races into the year with 40 second 8k PR and a 4 minute 8 second 10 mile PR are fairly decent stats and something to be proud of. But even when I think I have figured out a successful system for my body I am still in fear that this may not transfer over for my fall marathon. Truthfully my problem is that I think too analytically about everything.
The only way to get past my dopey fears is to acknowledge them and DEAL with them.
I fear that:
- My sub 3:10 goal is too great of an achievement for me right now.
- I am fragile and will break at the least unexpected moment and my dreams will be crushed.
- People will judge my training and say "too many miles".
- All sanity will be lost in my mind and I will once again become a maniac that prevents myself from great things.
- After months of putting the weight lost during marathon training of last year back on, it will yet again fall off and people will say hurtful comments regarding my smaller then usual frame.
- I will become pregnant and want to run the marathon anyways. Really this wouldn't be a terrible thing, it just wouldn't be what I planned and would call for a rearrangement of my schedule.
- My training experiences aren't going to provide enough knowledge for further progression.
- I am getting older. My mother pointed this out to me the other day when a runner told her I am in my "peak years". While I don't believe this because of all of the runners who break past this stereotype, what if I do fall into this category?
- My commitment to my training will get in the way will all of my other priorities.
- The marathon isn't my race.
I am a full disclosure kind of gal, so putting my fears into ink as public information may not be of interest to the readers that make a stop here, but for me this is important. I learned last year that pretending like my running fears do not exist and that I am frolicking through a daisy laden field everyday only prevents me from growth. I may fail, I may fall flat on my face and never want to run another marathon again. But knowing that I am human and tried to overcome all of my fears for this race is better then not trying at all and always wondering "what if...", and I don't want to be that person.
So I'm going to give this training a go and it may or may not work, but at least I'm looking all these fears in the face and preventing them from holding me back any further.