|Great day at the 2011 KC Marathon ... I wanna feel like this again|
You gotta love it when you can tie a Billy Ocean song into a blog title! Ah, Billy Ocean. Reminds me of high school. Which reminds me of a time when athletic ability just came naturally. Which reminds me of never having to over analyze a game, a race, or athletic event. I just went out there and "gotter dun". But 25 years later I seem to be a person that over analyzes ... well, everything in my life - but especially running.
I think non-runners view our sport as just throwing on a pair of bright colored shoes, some shorts that are a little too short for a grown man to be wearing ... and then hitting the road. From there, you just run. You just run as far as you can, as fast as you can. And maybe they're on to something. Maybe it's supposed to be that simple. But in training for what I thought would be a marathon PR this summer, somehow I really complicated the process. I went way off course and started making this whole thing way more than it really is ... just running.
Before my last race at Wichita (where I failed miserably at meeting my goal), I remember thinking most of the following everyday leading up to it ...
"Don't go out too fast"
"Did I eat right today"
"Are my shoes too tight, maybe that's why my foot hurts"
"Should I wear compression socks or arm warmers at this race"
"Scott ran a 2:57, surely I can muster a 3:05"
"C'mon man 3:05 ... you're not in that league"
"Everyone thinks I'm a really good runner ... maybe I am"
"Who am I kidding ... I'm just average and too old to be doing this"
"Man that 'easy' run felt harder than it should have"
"Hope there's no wind at this race"
"Should I wear sunglasses ... what if it's not sunny"
"I'm really heel striking when I get tired ... need to watch that"
"I SHOULD be able to keep pace ... I mean I DID do a tempo run at a 6:41 pace"
"Holy crap, that tempo run was 3 weeks ago ... there's no way I can run that fast now"
"I think I lost a lot of fitness during taper"
"Stupid taper, why do I taper ... I never run well when I taper"
"Are my shorts too long ... I don't look like a real runner"
"No way I'm ever wearing those really short shorts"
"My stride seems to be getting a little long"
"I think I did too much core work, I'm a little sore"
"I shoulda got in one more leg workout"
"I've never ran in a sleeveless shirt before, do my arms look skinny & weak"
"Just focus on the last 6 miles, the first 20 are easy"
"Don't go out too slow"
"There's no way I can do this"
And it went on, and on, and on ... for days until I completely psyched myself out. In general, I'm a pretty confident person. Probably too confident at times. But lately when it comes to a big race that I've prepared for, I seem to really wilt under the pressure. I even dream about failing or missing turns in a race several days before the event. It gets completely in my head and takes over everything.
So for the Marshall Marathon this weekend in Huntington, West Virginia, I'm really focusing on #1 having a great time with Michael, but #2 on just going out there and running a solid race. If it's a PR ... fine. If it's a few minutes below a PR ... that's honestly fine too. I just wanna run free and easy and be the guy in the picture at the end of a race, and have a great weekend with my Caribbean Queen. Not gonna over analyze this one! Hope your running's going well ...
... be great today!