Monday, October 02, 2006

No Fear

For me, I need the reassurance that my body can handle the physical and mental pounding 26.2 miles exacts on the body. During this entire summer of training, I've been working toward getting to that level of confidence that (1) my body could handle this and (2) I would be happy with my time. I know time isn't everything but I'm a competitive person and it has been important to me. That's why I love running. There is no one to get angry at. No opponent that outplayed you. No referee that made the wrong call. Just you against the clock. How hard you trained can be directly measurable against your results (give or take for other incidental factors). I love that. It is a very emotionally introverted sport. It allows you to be happy with yourself as well as all of the other contestants independently.

That being said, on Sunday,I finally reached that level of confidence I desired. It has been building all summer and yesterday's long run of 21.5 miles validated my physical and emotional readiness. I left my house shortly after 7 AM and did three 6.2 mile loops back around to my house. After the second loop, I popped back inside to wish my now-awake daughter a Happy 5th Birthday. At each break, I had GU and water (and changed shirts once due to the embarrassing red splotches on my chest from you-know-what). Then, ended with a 3 mile trip up to the local high school and back. 21.5 miles in 2:49. Three minutes ahead of 8 mins per mile pace!! Maybe 3:30 is attainable after all. Very satisfied. Despite the extreme ankle pain that has hit me later that day (and caused a slight limp this morning), I consider the last long, long run a big, big success.

On to Chicago with full confidence! No fear.

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