I’ve been talking a big game and I’m starting to regret it.
So I’ve been training my ass off for the Brooklyn Half Marathon, running more mileage than I ever have for a half and doing it while I was working, which, since my job is physically draining, is pretty damn impressive. And now, as I’m starting to peak, my work schedule has eased off just in time and things should seem easier, right? But the other day while I was knocking out a mile repeat workout in the park, I opened my mouth and blurted out:
“But I don’t want to run that fast for thirteen miles!”
Okay, I don’t mean have you ever whined at yourself out loud in public like a bratty little kid. What I mean is, have you ever felt, especially as your peak training draws closer, like you’re in completely over your head and you just want to bail?
Okay, so here’s the back story:
I’ve been yakking on and on to people about how I’m gonna shoot for 1:45:00 at the Brooklyn Half. 1:45:00 isn’t an arbitrary number, it’s roughly the half marathon one would run if one were capable of a 3:35:00 full marathon one season later. You may be wondering why that is significant; I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. I’m all set to run the Wineglass Marathon in upstate New York this fall, which is a one-way, net downhill course, and known to be one of the fastest marathon courses in the East. I’m not totally optimistic that this is my year for that 3:35, but I can damn well try, and scoring a 1:45 half this spring will really push me over the edge to believing I can do it.
To some this will all seem like a piece of cake; to others, a hugely daunting undertaking. I fall in the latter category, since my current recorded half marathon PR is 1:54:29, and that was only a year ago. And for much of that year I was laid up from training due to an injury.
Yep. I’m shooting for almost a 10 minute PR. On a comeback.
And now that I’m reaching peak training I’m starting to feel like a real ass–partially for biting off more than I can chew, but mostly for telling a whole sh*tload of people that I’m going to do something that is going to be so ridiculously hard for me.
The numbers say I should be good to go. I’ve put in the training, done the speed work, and 8 minute miles are now a fairly comfortable pace for me. According to Jeff Galloway’s Magic Mile and other race time predictions I should be able to knock out a half marathon somewhere between 1:46 and 1:50. And what’s more, I believe. I’d sing it from the mountaintops if I could: I can run a half marathon in an hour and forty-five minutes!!! Hear the echoes?
Okay, so believing can’t get me there if my body just can’t do it. I know that. I’m not stupid, after all, I know I need to put in the effort to yield the results. And part of that effort is healing from my injury.
I really really thought that, after over a year of nagging, this injury thing was done. But lately the faster I move, the more my knee starts to argue. It has these little twitches and flare-ups. It feels…yucky. I don’t know how to explain it. It’s all like, “Yo! Ease up on the gas there, speedy!” And I’m all like, “Come on dude, just give me a few more weeks and I’ll give you a whole week off!”
Is it just nerves? Am I way overestimating my abilities? I mean, it’s a 10 minute PR; that’s kind of nuts. Maybe I’m perfectly capable of it, the way the numbers say I should be? Maybe my knee is mental pain that’s manifesting as a way to bail on the race? I mean, I really feel like I want to bail.
I don’t want to run and fall short and disappoint myself.
Is this performance anxiety or my inner voice telling me to readjust my goals? Ever been there? How did you decide whether to shut up and go for it or to readjust your expectations?