Sunday, October 28, 2007

My Marathon Mantra

So I ran by Central Park yesterday and today hoping to bump into some of the elite runners who will be participating in the Olympic trials next Saturday to ask them about my pre-marathon jitters. Although it was raining yesterday and quite windy today, I thought for sure I’d see at least one world-class athlete gracing the course with their presence. After all, there aren’t THAT many places to do a long run in the city…I should know. But alas, no such luck for me. All I saw were a bunch of empty bleachers set up next to the marathon finish at Tavern on the Green, which was cool, but not the same as meeting an actual runner. I even tried sitting on the bleachers for a little while waiting for someone of note to come passing by, and only started back up again when my butt started to freeze.

So that was the disappointing part. The better part of the story is on what I did find in the middle of all those miles in the park this weekend. Somewhere between mile 4 and 6, when I was trying to figure out if I should start out on the Verrazano with 6:45, 6:55, or 7:05 mile, I saw an Addidas ad on a lamp post that asked “Have you run YOUR race yet?” and reminded me of my half-marathon PR in Queens a couple months back. I thought about why I was able to run that race so much better than all the others. I figured out that part of the reason was that the Queens Half was the only race this year that I ran by myself, without any of my friends or my training buddies. Usually, when I’m running with other people, I consciously or subconsciously start out at a specific set pace, either much faster or much slower than I would otherwise, so that by the end, I either have too much energy left or have spent it all in the beginning and have to take walk breaks in the end. But in Queens, I was running as my own man, without any pre-conceived notions of how fast or slow I should run. I ran according to how I felt during each part of the course without any external influences and was able to finish as fast as when I started. In essence, I was running “my own race”.

So that’s why I’ve decided to adopt my favorite running motto “Run Your Own Race” as my NYC Marathon mantra.What that means is that I will not try to plan ahead to run my race at a particular pace or with a particular strategy, but allow my body the freedom to dictate what the comfortable pace for that day will be. Being that this is my third marathon overall (second NYCM) I am pretty sure I will be able to pace myself appropriately according to feel and still finish in a respectable time. It also means I will stop worrying about weather, crowds, and other external factors of which I have no control over. Whatever happens, I am trusting myself to just figure it out as I go along.

I hope nobody is put off by this, but I’m trying to best and quickest way for me to get to the finish line and this should help. Anyone else with other helpful hints (I’ve given up trying to find an elite to answer my questions, sigh…), please pass them along. Because this time, in this race, it’s personal, baby!

[But…I still have some motivational running stuff to share to help everyone with their own race. So stay tuned…]


by CARPE DIEM said...

Good luck Mr. Running Laminator. I will be sending positive running vibes your way on race day!

Debbie said...

Good Luck on your race!! Can't wait to read your report!

Anonymous said...

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