If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’m amidst my 10k race taper. So many runners say they hate the taper. I personally don’t mind backing off on mileage right before a race, but it’s the extra time I have and all the “what-if” thoughts that pop into my head that get me feeling on edge during this pre-race period. I’ve been doing more reading and listening to applicable podcasts more often to help with those feelings.
I was just listening to the Ali on the Run Podcast episode 64, with 2018 Boston Marathon winner Desiree Linden (Let’s just all pause and bow down to this incredible athlete and fellow Michigander. What a day to race and win! — And really, everyone who ran in those conditions deserves a huge round of applause! I’ve run a half in those conditions and cannot fathom doubling the distance fighting wind/rain on that epic course in the cold. Lots of badass men and women out there!). Anyway, I absolutely loved this episode! You all need to go listen to it…after you read this ;).
Des was asked, “Do you use the word failure?,” and it opened up this great dialogue about how it’s okay to fail and learn from it. The word is associated so negatively. She gave the example of how her goal for Boston 2017 was to win, and she didn’t. She said she didn’t think she was a failure, she just failed to meet her goal that year. You’re not the race outcome. It’s not an identity. It’s all in how you think about it. I absolutely love this! “You fail your way to success,” was such an epic quote that came from this interview, as well as, “Keep showing up!”. That second one sure rings true for her, as she pulled off an amazing victory in Boston this year.
I had a long streak where every race I ran was not only a PR, but I reached my goals for the race too. Then last years Mackinac 8 Mile happened. I had a few goals, but my big one was to finish with an official pace less than a 9-minute mile. I fell short, with a 9:02 pace. But, my previous 8 mile was a 9:45 pace!
It’s easy to initially get frustrated or disappointed by “failing” to meet a goal. I think you absolutely should have those feelings. It’s ok to acknowledge them. But, it’s important to move past that, look at the big picture, and learn from it. Setting those ‘big scary’ goals are what push us a bit further. That’s something that was pointed out in the book, How Bad Do You Want It. If you read my review, you know how much I loved this book!
Setting time-based goals that stretch you just beyond past limits is like setting a flag next to a bed of hot coals to mark the furthest point reached in your best fire walk. That flag says to you, “This is possible, and you know it. So why wouldn’t it be possible for you to make it just one step farther the next time?” – How Bad Do You Want It
Had I not decided to shoot for that sub 9-pace, maybe I wouldn’t have taken off as much time as I did (1:17:59 -> 1:12:15). I look back on last years 8 mile and am not upset. I’m proud of my improvement from the year prior. And it lit a fire inside me to work even harder this year to make it happen. I said this all after the race, and it’s still true today! I can’t wait for September! Not only that, but my first race of the year (this Sunday!) will be a great precursor to that race. I have a few 10k’s this year before the 8 mile, so they’ll be great practice! I haven’t gotten that sub-9 pace for a 10k yet either. Sunday is the day! I tweaked my training since last years 8 mile, and I
think know I’m capable of that sub-9 pace now. I have always published my goals, and often change them to faster times during training if I feel they’re outdated. So, here I am putting it out there…
My NEW goal for the Gazelle Girl 10k:
54:40 (8:49 pace) for 6.2 miles — I think it’s smart to plan on running approximately .1 over that distance due to not following the tangents (who actually can do that perfectly?!). So, I would expect my watch to read: 54:40 (8:40 pace) for 6.3 miles.
This scares me. It scares me because most of my mileage has been on the treadmill. While I feel confident in what I’ve put into training, not really knowing what I’m capable of outside freaks me out. It’s not that I don’t think I can do it, it’s that I know what it takes and I know I’ll be subjecting myself to pain…but that’s what training is all about. I’ve experienced pain a lot over the past 12 weeks, so I just need to keep reminding myself to trust my training and remember how bad I want the results so enduring the pain is worth it. But, if anything, I’m hoping setting this new goal will at a minimum push me to that long awaited sub-9 pace race finish for something other than a 5k! I want it SO bad!
I can’t wait to share Sunday’s race review next week!
Also, I have some VERY EXCITING news pertaining to my upcoming race day! So keep your eyes open on my Instagram page for a fun announcement on SATURDAY. If you’re not racing on Sunday, I’ll be giving you something to do haha :).
Until then, happy running!