Sunday’s run started out slow for me. My legs felt like lead, most likely because I had trained too hard during the week and didn’t take a recovery day like I should have. I pushed on at a pace that was okay, but not where I wanted to be. At about Mile 10, Craig joined up with me, and stepped up the pace quite a bit. It was a pace I could hold for a 10K, but definitely not one I would even consider 10 miles into a 16 mile run , especially when I had not trained properly the days before.
But, I figured if Craig was willing to run slower than he could in order to keep me company, I would do my part by trying my best to keep up with him. Also, I figured, the water stop is only a mile or two away, and I could at least hold that faster pace for that long. Then I thought about how many times I have said to all of you “you can do it”, “believe in yourself”, and that if I didn’t keep up with Craig all the way to the water stop, I’d be a lousy role model. So I did it. I held that challenging pace and achieved that small goal I had set for myself.
Craig stayed at the stop longer than I wanted to, and said no need to wait for him, so I took off. At that point I figured, “Well, I got here at that faster pace, maybe I can keep going at that speed.” Maybe it was that positive messaging, maybe it was that second Clif bar, or maybe it was both, but not only did I hold that pace, I went faster, and, much to my surprise, finished in a time I was really proud of and had never achieved for that distance.
So, why am I telling you all this? I think there are some good lessons here, aside from refueling during your run is helpful and recovery days are important. These lessons can apply not just to the marathon training, but to all aspects of your life.
1) Getting support from others around you really helps.
2) When the going gets tough, it’s not a reason to quit, it’s an opportunity to challenge yourself.
3) The best way to accomplish a big goal is to break it into a lot of smaller goals that you know you can achieve, and then tackle each one, one at a time.
4) Dream big, Expect a lot from yourself, and take pride in doing better than you thought you could.