I said that I wanted to go int the NY Half fully trained and I really feel that I accomplished this goal. I went into this race knowing that I would make it to the finish line. I went into this race confident and prepared. That doesn’t always happen, so when it does it’s a beautiful thing. So how did I do that?
First and most important I was a realist who put in the miles, but I did it my way. I had a guide that I used more for the mileage and not the actual workouts. I didn’t do any fartleks, cut-downs, or focus on pace really at all. This race wasn’t about speed at all. This day was about having a good race.
I admit that when you are at the starting line in a corral based on previous times which put me in the first wave, it was hard to hold back. It’s hard not to feel like you should be running faster. Part of the reason that it is hard is because of the excitement, but part of it is also because everyone else is moving and your moving with them. At this point, it important to remember that each person is running their own race. It is important to remember that it doesn’t matter if they pass you either.
During the race, I was thinking a funny thing…….
Most of us are just your average runner. Most of us no matter how hard we train will never get to the front of the Pack. It’s not for lack of pushing ourselves, but lets be honest training can only take you as far as it can take you. If I had unlimited resources and hired a dietician, training coach, and followed their plan to a T that will still not make me as fast Shalane Flanagan. That just is not who I am.
So on my run, I was reminding myself of who I am and what I want out of my running. The biggest thing is I want to run. I need to run. It is good for me not just physically but mentally. Then as I was trying to run a smart race, I did wonder why so many of us are so tied into the numbers of our run. I know that I am, but I am trying to be better. Based on my heart rate yesterday, I was in the training zone 5 out of 5 for the day. My heart rate averaged 156 for the race and at one point (although this doesn’t seem right) it showed maximum of 198 which would also indicate when I overlay pace it shows that I started walking.
For me, I was pushing it. That being said, I also did walk. I have had races where I had a timed goal. Some I reached. Some I didn’t. Overall, if you ask me what my times were at any given race there are only a few that I could tell you exactly (not counting seconds and I know we count seconds). But if you asked me to tell you about some of my races, I could probably tell you who I went with and some of our adventures on it. Those are the moments I cherish. Those are the memories that mean the most.
I’ve always said goals are good and I do believe that they are. That being said, I’m to the point where my goals are changing. I’m not as concerned with a PR, but in how I ran that day. Did I push my limits? Did I do my best? Most of all did I have fun doing it?
I’ve been thinking a lot about that last question. I know that it would take an act of God for me to ever PR again. This is not to say that I am discounting it, but I’m trying to be more realistic. Again…. not getting any younger. My body is not the same. My mindset is also not the same.
For me, it is no longer about the numbers. For me it is about pushing my limits while at that same time being smart. Now this is in no way saying that people shouldn’t be chasing time goals. I would bet that if I hadn’t had my surgery that I would still be chasing time. But as I said in my post Perspective, things changed for me.
My goal is to set myself up to be running not just a particular race but a year from now. Two years from now. I want to be a cool grandma runner (which I have YEARS AND YEARS to go before getting there).
In order to make that happen, my goals will be my goals. To run my own race, my own way. It may not be the way everyone would want to run it and I may over time get to a point where I reassess these goals. For now though, this is where I am which is a good place.
Crossing the finish line with a smile is my new goal:)
and being to get out of bed the next day is a bonus!