"Stop dreaming and put it to reality!"
I got this text 2 weeks ago. I was starting to freak out about the Phoenix Marathon coming up on March 2nd. I texted my coach. "I think my fear comes from how big my goal is...I feel ready for a marathon, but scared to shoot for a fast one. I guess I need a pep talk or a reality check..." Her response was perfect. Exactly the pep talk I needed. Seven words to make me realize I needed to keep dreaming. And I needed to keep working to achieve that dream!
Over the last weeks, I have put in the work. Between core work, upper body weights and functional strength, I am stronger than ever before. Every run had a purpose. There were zone 2 runs with surges, step up runs, fartleks and race pace runs. I ran both slower and faster than I thought myself capable.
The scariest run was a week ago. My last long run was 18 miles with 13 at race pace. Let me tell you that talking about running a Boston qualifier at a 3:55 doesn't sound that hard. However, when I figure that is an 8:59 pace over 26.2 miles, I get scared. This is a BIG, FREAKING GOAL. Yet, at the same time, aren't goals supposed to be scary? If a goal is an easy thing to accomplish, why even set one. So this time I set a BFG. No more of the "I think I can" or "I'll try" then giving in the last miles. No more letting the doubts creep in and letting my mind loose focus.
I love the marathon. I love the pain of running long. And running a marathon in 4:30 is not that big of a challenge for me anymore. I want more. So, here it is, in black and white. I am shooting for a 3:54:59 at the Phoenix marathon in 7 days. I do have this in me. I can run through the doubt and fear. I can run through the fatigue. I can run through the pain. And I can do all this while running fast!
Seven days and counting.