Wednesday, September 25, 2013
mistress of my own domain
i’m about 6 weeks from running my only big race of the year- New York City Marathon (NYCM). i decided to go back to the basics with this one. i finished my first marathon so strong that i qualified for Boston. there had to be some lessons there that i could pull out and reclaim. i wanted control back, wanted to find my own sweet spot – be the mistress of my own domain.
i trained for my first marathon without the influence of twitter or daily mile or the perceived need for a coach. for subsequent marathons, i created a reality which required numbers, data, reporting, and constant running talk and analysis. i surrounded myself with other people’s opinions. Daily mile, twitter, coaches, and other runners – these are fantastic supports and communities of people who have gone through so much of what i have.
The trouble with me is that i wasn’t solid enough in knowing what was best for me. as a result, i was tossed around going from one thing to the next like jetsam on the surface of a fast flowing river. enough of that.
thus began the process of letting go of the false supports i thought i needed. i stopped recording my mileage and pace. i stopped wearing a watch when i was ramping up to train. Nothing has changed about me though-i still want to do my best, i still need the structure of a plan and the gratification of meeting each day’s target.
i printed off a SmartCoach plan from Runnersworld as i had with marathon 1 and every day i crossed what i did or jotted down a notation. i didn’t need to wear a watch until recently because my husband would pace me. he’s injured now so i’ve had to put the watch back on. it’s ok though because it doesn’t rule me anymore.
this time around, i didn’t write in my blog, didn’t podcast about my great epic milestones or my challenges. i got sick of the podcasts in particular-it’s humiliating to be so optimistic and then to report back on the way things didn’t quite pan out. i couldn’t deal with it...
i needed my own forgiveness to release the anxiety that had crept and burrowed itself into my mind. i created this marathon plan mindful of the two weeks where i was on vacation and probably wouldn’t run at all. i couldn’t have predicted the months of work stress that are still ongoing and how i’m now sick in bed w sinusitis but i have a different attitude. it’s just not possible to see what the months will bring. i can't make myself adhere blindly to a plan.
From the outset i said that i’d run NYCM for fun. so, i’ve done two 20 milers now and have two more to go. i’ve done maybe half of the speed work and i’ll try to do some more. it’s not the same for me though – gave myself permission to let myself deal w the things life throws to me. it’s been stressful enough -- i’m so glad i don’t have the heavy burden of a target race time to drag me down further.
i have the freedom to just let myself do what i can and truly accept that pushing for more is only going to deplete me and destroy my love of running. I don’t need to please anyone else. i don’t “have to” do anything perfunctorily. i just want to run on my terms.
For the first time in a long time, i own my training. i own my constraints and i truly do not care what my time is going to be. My children will be at the race this time. i’ve done seven marathons and they’ve never been at any of those…until this year.
they’re so excited – they think i’m a rockstar. i hear them bragging and get embarrassed. They’ve never asked me for a goal time. they know that their mom runs marathons and she’s pretty cool…well…maybe they’re right. ;)