Rebecca (beeker121) wrote,

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On expectations

There's something unusual, but awesome, in my history of running half-marathons.  I've set a new personal record (PR) every time.  Every race I've been a little bit faster than the one before.  Early on I made huge jumps as I lost some weight, got more confident, and generally learned how to do this racing thing.  Recently my improvements are in the 1-2 minute range, but still.  A new PR, every time.

I am not going to be able to sustain this forever.  Honestly, it's part of what has made running fun for me thus far, but sooner or later it's going to be too warm or I'll have a bad day or something, and I'll finish slower than I did the time before.  It might be a relief.  This track record of seven PRs, one for every half, is daunting.  It adds extra pressure.

This spring I figured there was no way I would PR.  My training had been decent but not amazing, I was running a show so low on sleep, and my cross training had been nonexistent.  But on the day - everything worked, mostly.  So here I am, looking at a race tomorrow.  My training has been consistent, though still lacking in speed work.  I've managed to add a mini-yoga thing twice a week which is better than nothing, my sleep is better than usual, and I'm carb-loading like a champ.  I should be finished before it gets too warm, so it seems like I should plan on another PR.

Instead, I find myself thinking - I probably won't PR this time and that's fine.  But then, I still think I can be faster than I am.  I eventually want to break 10 minute miles for this distance, and then maybe even break 2hrs.  So why not tomorrow?  Why not just plan for it, push for it?    I could just leave my watch at home and run for the sheer joy of moving, but I don't know if I can do that on a race day.  At least, not yet.  Am I afraid of disappointment?  Maybe, but I don't know who other than me would be disappointed if I finished a little slower this time.  This spring it was a wonderful surprise when I achieved a new PR but why does making that my goal feel somehow dangerous?  I don't know.

I will start tomorrow with the same primary goal I always have - to finish.  To break my PR I need to beat 2:15:17. 
Tags: goals, pondering, running

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