That’s right, I said it. You watch your back CIM because I’m coming for you. I’m coming hard, I’m coming fast and I’m going to get my Boston qualifier. That’s right, I said it. I’m doing it. And I’m not taking no for an answer.
Ok, why this burst of confidence? Two words: UCLA Bruins. Last night I watched my Bruins take on the Kansas State Jayhawks. I know, K State isn’t great this year, but hear me out. I love my Bruins– they play hard but they usually break my heart. I don’t think I missed a home game all 4 years and I go see them play at least once a year in LA. And I dated a guy from USC and we used to honestly get in fights over sports. Like, had to agree not to watch them together (for those keeping track at home, this is the same dude that thought he could beat me and couldn’t. Oh silly Trojan boys).
Anyway, after a great 2-0 start I wasn’t expecting great things but last night (en route to beating K. State) the announcers kept talking about how well the Bruins were playing and how a dose of confidence from some wins was helping them play well. How there was a snap in their step and their heads were high. And I thought to myself, “ok. You need to get more confident. You can do this. Like, really, actually, for real, not delusionally can do this.” So, I woke up this morning and decided, like the Chic Runner to go all “Beark” on my run (refer to the Chic Runner for the Beark).
I had a monster workout this morning– 2 miles warm up, 6 x 6 mins at 10k pace, hour easy, 20 minutes 10k pace, 2 miles easy. For those keeping track at home, it pencils out to roughly 18 miles. And not just any 18 miles– it’s intentionally designed to wear your legs out and then force you to run fast on them. And Jack’s tricky– if you take out the warm up and cool down you end up running the middle 15 at MP average without knowing it. It’s awesome. Basically, it’s designed so you feel how you would at the end of a marathon.
It’s also unseasonably hot here in Sacramento (it was 100 yesterday, YUCK) so that’s not helpful. Anyway, I got up and told myself, “you be like those Bruins. You go nuts on this thing and get ‘er done.” And you know what happened? I got ‘er done. Faster than my pace charts called for and without much trouble. And I wasn’t bored and I didn’t get sick and I was reasonably functional afterward. Also, did I mention I ran 70 miles last week? And just ran 17 miles 4 days ago? Yeah, you watch your back CIM. Cause here I am. Usually the 2nd round of tempo paced runs kills me but I was elated yesterday. I was smiling and waving and saying good morning to other runners like it’s my job. I just kept thinking, “I did this.”
Every time it felt a little rough (and let’s not kid ourselves, it did feel rough at times) I just reminded myself of how my gutty little Bruins got ‘er done and also reminded myself that I am also a gutty little Bruin and there was no reaosn not to take this workout by the horns and show it who was boss.
I’ve been struggling with confidence while training. And some of that is just respect for the marathon distance. If you’re not afraid, you should be. It’s a long way and a lot can happen. But you know what? I’m training hard. Really hard. And Jack’s programs work, so there’s no reason why, if I put in the time and miles, it shouldn’t turn out the way I plan. So you know what? No more “maybes” or “I hopes” or “if it’s my day.” No. It’s, “when” it’s, “this is my year and my time” and it’s, “I can do this. I really can do this.”
I’ve also felt a little unworthy of my goal– my last marathon was pretty slow and while I know intellectually that I’m for all intents and purposes a totally different person– I sometimes feel like a poser. Like “real” runners are going to laugh in my face when I tell them my goal. But that’s stupid. I’ve earned my speed literally in blood, sweat, tears and even a little barf and it’s time to own that and stop making mental excuses. I. Can. Do. This.