After a brief and much needed mini-vacation to our nation’s capital for the much anticipated Cherry Blossom Festival and 10 Mile Run, I’m finally back home, ready to attend to some blog business. Although we arrived a bit late for the cherry blossoms this year and my race performance left a bit to be desired (I’ll post a race recap in the next day or two), I had a truly wonderful time in D.C. enjoying the company of great friends, visiting many national landmarks, absorbing the running vibes from thousands of runners and basking in the glorious sunshine and the beautiful spring weather.
Thanks everyone for all the great feedback on my last post! I never imagined that an innocent question about developing race speed confidence would garner such a wide range of responses ranging from running a local 5K just for the experience of “winning” to just believing and trusting my speed to a sense that I’m just too damn slow to win anything so why bother. Interesting.
While I know most of you have followed me long enough to know that my victory isn’t really measured against others, but against me and my former self, some others still have a sense that I am all about winning awards, and accolades and recognition that I’m a great and fast runner. In actuality though, nothing could be further from the truth. I run because I have a passion to do so. I train because I enjoy the journey. I set goals because they give my running a sense of direction. I am keenly aware that I am NOT an elite, or a professional or even a fast runner. Every time I line up at a NYRR race, I am more than aware just how slow I really am. However, the point that I think some fail to realize though is that I’m perfectly okay with that. I am making progress and getting faster a little bit at a time and as long as I can still attain PRs every so often, I really could care less that I’m considered slow in the eyes of many. Along the same lines, if I fail to grab sub-3 in NJM in a few weeks because I wasn’t able to run a half-marathon time below a certain threshold or train above a certain number of miles per week, I’m okay with that too! Just because race day went bad, that doesn’t mean the training was crap or that I could’ve necessarily done anything differently. Sometimes, it’s just not your day for a breakthrough race.
My point in my previous post is that if my speed for a given day for a given race, for whatever reason, was good enough to be in contention for an age group award (like it was during my 13.1), I hope that I can rise to the occasion and be confident in my racing abilities (instead of copping out, losing speed, and expecting that someone from behind to catch up and outrun me). Now I am not saying that this will occur again with any sort of frequency whether I’m running 6:00 miles or 6:25 miles, I’m just saying that I want to be prepared if the situation should ever arise again. (Don’t worry though, I won’t be actively looking for small out-of-town 5ks to slaughter just to fulfill the requirement. That’s never been my style!)
I do take all of your hearty suggestions under advisement, but please understand that I must train according to what works for me. So excuse me if my body isn’t up for pounding out heavy fast miles around a cinder block track multiple times. I rather listen to my body and avoid injuries at all cost. And if I’m still getting faster and progressing every race (even if I’m slow to begin with) than there’s obviously some method to the madness and it really shouldn’t concern anyone else but me as to how I’m doing it. No?