Over the course of the last week I started finding myself thinking of back up plans for Phoenix. I started wondering if I could even run a marathon feasibly in 6 weeks let alone qualify for Boston. The more these thoughts entered my mind, the more right they sounded. The more I thought about throwing in the towel and picking a Spring marathon to run instead, the more I wanted to do that.
If I’m honest with myself and my readers, I don’t want to try another marathon unless I think I can qualify for Boston. I don’t want to go out there and “see what happens.” I trained hard for a race last year and was so confident that it would happen and it didn’t. Therefore, my brain is now convinced that the perfect circumstances must be present in order to get that BQ. But, luckily, my brain isn’t always right.
Yes, perfect circumstances would be great going into a goal race. But when does that happen? When does training go 100% as planned with no setbacks? When does race morning arrive and you are fully rested, perfectly carboloaded (but not bloated), delightfully caffeinated, with light and fresh legs and a weather forecast showing 50 degrees and gloomy with zero winds? If you’ve experienced this training and race ju-ju please let me know, because I doubt any of us have. Life is imperfect and so is our training. We can’t control everything but what we can control is our minds.
So, although I already felt like I may be cutting my training close going into this race and although I sprained my ankle, I’m making the best of it. I’m lucky to have such a supportive and amazing husband who sees right through my fears and isn’t afraid to tell me so. This morning over coffee he called me out – told me that I need to stop saying “if I run Phoenix,” or “If I don’t qualify at Phoenix” and just believe that I WILL run Phoenix and I WILL qualify for Boston.
The mind is so powerful and if you let the doubts crawl in, it’ll ruin everything. Mike reminded me that although I haven’t been running much in the last 12 days (breaking news, I did run 1 mile without pain on Friday and 30 minutes on Saturday!), I’m still training hard (lots and lots of biking, some aqua jogging, strength, and elliptical) and smart. He reminded me that I’m practically in the best shape of my life and that I just ran a great 10k hours after a 10 mile run and then nearly a half marathon PR a week later after an unrestful week. Although I might be running less mileage than I was a year ago while training for Eugene, I’m more fit now. I am stronger and I have more experience. I am a smarter athlete.
No matter what the facts are, I won’t ever qualify for Boston unless I believe I can. So it’s time to believe.