I always try to find an inspiring quote to focus on for an upcoming race. A mantra that sets the tone for what I want a particular race to feel like. Before the St. George Half Marathon, I found this one from the amazing Lauren Fleshman, and it spoke to my heart.
“Fear is gradually replaced by excitement and a simple desire to see what you can do on the day.”
That was my desire, to replace fear with excitement and see what’s possible. But the truth is, I’m not there yet. I haven’t transitioned to replacing nerves and anxiety with enthusiasm, but it’s one of the goals I’m working on. I think what I was lacking as I approached this race was mental confidence. My treadmill crash (see previous blog post) and hematoma threw off some crucial training early in the month and I think it weakened my mental toughness. Sometimes extra stress becomes a distraction that turns into a mental drain. I know stress is part of this amazing experience called life, so there’s no avoiding it, but it’s a good reminder that I need to focus training the mental side of racing along with the physical. After the race I had a good conversation with my coach, I told him the truth that every time I looked at my watch it felt like I was working harder than the time showed. A 6:40 mile felt like the effort of a 6:15 or a 6:20. He said, some days just end up that way, and we made a plan to move forward and test out the speed on a different half marathon next month and continue training for Boston.
Whew! That was a lot of cathartic reflection on the mental portion of last weekend’s race, so now let me show the great parts of the race and why no matter what challenge it brings, I love running.
I’m always so thankful to finish any race. I’m grateful for the lessons and the celebrations. I’m grateful for this sport that challenges me to continue to chase my dreams. Being open to the lessons of race day and appreciating the gift of running is such an important part of running our lives. If you want to come run the St. George Half next year click here for more information. Happy running friends!