This week went by quick! And all of a sudden I realized I hadn't posted since Monday! Sorry! Time flies when you're busy!
I've also been really stuck inside my head. Meaning, I have been really caught up in all my thoughts about my running and my upcoming races. I've shared on here numerous times in the past that I had my doubts about Long Beach. I haven't been able to wrap my head around what I really wanted to accomplish. I do want to BQ again. I do want to race well. But my heart hasn't been in it and it's been playing games with me. I had told myself I wouldn't make any decisions until after Lake Tahoe - my favorite race of the year. And at Tahoe I was able to meet my goals. I figured that would be enough for me. I could cross the year off as a success. But when I got home, I wasn't so sure I was done, but I also wasn't so sure I was ready to tackle another big "A" race.
All year Long Beach has been my big goal. I have big plans next year and in a way this would be my going out party - hopefully on a high note. I race a lot during the year, as I am sure you can see by my cute little side bar to the right. And maybe that is the problem - I could be a bit burned out, which is exactly what happened last year. I don't think though that that is the problem. I think that I have let those little doubt demons into my head way too much. As anyone who has ever dreamed of BQing knows that it's a big deal. A lot of work and time and energy goes into crossing the finish line with a time that takes you to Beantown. It isn't easy. It's hard to put all the hard work of training in and then not see you meet your goal. I guess in a way, I'm afraid to fail. There, I said it.
We all put our own pressures on ourselves with our running. We do it for us at the end of the day. No one is breathing down our necks telling us we have to hit certain times or paces, no one but ourselves. When you work hard all year and put in all the time and energy you do have a fear that maybe...it wasn't good enough. I have hit all my planed runs, paces and times - for the most part. I may have skipped a few runs but nothing that should keep me from hitting my goal. But for the last couple of months, I just haven't been able to believe in myself. I haven't been able to say, "I got this in the bag." I feel like I had lost my fire.
All week I have been going back and forth with what to do. I even contemplated adding one more full at the end of the season as a "just in case" race. But you know what? I don't want a "just in case" race, I want my goal race to be the race. I talked it over with my good friend Jill and of course, my biggest supporter, the hubbs. Both believe in me and it wasn't until yesterday that I put on my big girl pants and said, I can do this!
It has taken me a long time to get here. I had a great tack workout yesterday. It wasn't planned, but I just didn't feel like going out and running a full 10 yesterday which was on the schedule and with the weather so perfect the hubbs and I went to the track instead. I did 8x800's and nailed every single one. I'm not sure if I have shared my biggest goal for Long Beach, but I would really, really, really love to shoot for a low 3:30. All my training is pointing to it. So, thanks to Yasso 800's, I should be doing my 800's at 3:30. Again, all training cycle I have been hitting the paces - but each time I always told myself it was just a fluke. Until yesterday, when the hubbs was out there with the stop watch. I actually was hitting them each time, and usually faster! I finished my 8x800's with an average of 3:22 - way above where I needed to be. And that my friends, sealed the deal for me.
The hubbs and I talked a long time after we got home. My biggest fear is the fact that he won't be able to come and ride with me. He won't be at the finish line for me. He won't be back at the hotel to help me pull on my compression socks when I'm too tired to do it myself. I was afraid I couldn't do it without him. All of that went out the window yesterday. All of those doubts were erased. Sometimes we need that good workout to remind us we really do have it in us - we just need to get out of our own way.
I feel really good today. I finally made a decision and I'm at peace with it. I'm going to toe the line in Long Beach with every intention of coming home with another BQ. I have wanted it so badly but didn't give myself the courage to say I could get it. I have a plan. I have some ideas. Yesterday I ordered some pace bands from an awesome company called Races2Remember.com They let you pick out 3 goal times you want to aim for, then you pick the type of race you want to race and they print it on a pace band for you. You can either shoot for even splits; warm up -where you run a bit slower in the beginning, bank some time in the middle miles then shoot for you goal pace at the end; or a modified warm up with a few less slower miles in the beginning. I'm hoping this will keep me on track. I also was reminded by the hubbs yesterday that I could use the pace group! Why didn't I think of that!? With a plan and my goals all set I just need to keep my head in the game.
I hate taper - yes, we all do. But I REALLY hate tapering. I'm just not good at it. I run almost every day - at least 6 days a week. And each run I give it my all, following my plan and paces. So when my scale back week comes to taper, I go nuts. Yes, I know we all have the same problem with taper, but I hate it with a passion. That is going to be my biggest obstacle next week. Keeping my legs fresh with out letting my mind get the best of me. I have put the time and work in now it's time to take my victory lap at Long Beach. I guess I'm also a bit sad that after this, I won't have anything big on the calendar until next year. No more big races to be aiming for. And this training junkie doesn't do well with out some good goal races. I love to train. I love to dangle that carrot in front of me that is a big race. I guess I'll just have to focus on some more smaller races and hope that I will be basking in the glow of another BQ.
Thanks to all of you for all your encouraging words this last week with my race in San Jose. And for all the encouragement this training cycle. I couldn't have done it without all of you. I love to read where you are all at with your own training and life. I love to pay it forward and remind all of you how awesome you're doing. I often forget to recognize that I too, am doing the hard work. So thank you, you guys are awesome ;) My plans for the weekend include getting one more decent long run in and then letting the taper begin. I've been riding with Doug all week and running as usual. Nothing exciting. I should round out the week with about 55 miles - perfect amount to send me into a decent taper.
I'm off to catch up with all of you! Good luck to all of you racing this weekend! Especially Tara, Angela, FL, Paige, Marcia, Spike and the rest of you!!! Congrats! Run strong, run fast and have fun!
Happy Friday and Happy Running peeps!
P.S. Go on over and wish my girl Katie a big Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday girlie! Welcome to your 30's!