Fall 2020 Marathon Training - Week 6
Last Monday, July 20, 2020, the Marine Corps Marathon made the announcement that I had been dreading... the race would not take place in person but go entirely virtual. I knew this would most likely happen, but I was still disappointed when it did.
I know moving the race from an in person event to a virtual event is the best decision, but having the hope of an in person race was motivating me to train hard more than I realized. During my hard workout this week I did not have the same excitement that I had during the last 5 weeks. I felt disappointed in myself that I was letting the announcement shake my motivation so much. The mental aspect of training is so important. It is what gets you through the hard workouts, out of bed on the early mornings, and pushing through when you are super tired. I knew that I needed to recommit to my goals and decide exactly how to move forward with my training.
I could just focus on covering the 26.2 mile distance in the Virtual Boston and Virtual Marine Corps Marathon and not worry about time. There is nothing "wrong" with that and it would still be a goal to work toward. However, I know with the shape I am currently in, I could walk out the door and run 26.2 miles tomorrow if I really wanted to. I want a challenge and something to work toward that I am not sure if I can achieve. As I have shared before, having a hard physical challenge to work toward has been helpful mental break for me during these uncertain times. I know this can be argued both ways, but for me there is something nice about working toward a straight forward goal, like trying to hit a specific time in a specific distance, especially when there is so much uncertainty going on around us.
I have decided to stick to my original plan to run the Virtual Boston Marathon as a training run and set a date to run a solo marathon at the end of October. My goal in the solo marathon will be to break 3 hours again like I did at the Los Angeles Marathon in March. It will be a tough to do without crowd support and other runners around but I am excited to have a goal to strive for.
In the most perfect timing, I got a surprise package in the mail from the LA Marathon this week. Inside was a special medal for getting 1st place in my age group.
I had no idea that I got a special award for finishing 1st in my age group, so I was totally surprised. I have not kept very many of my running medals, but I will be keeping this one. I had set the goal to break 3 hours in the marathon at the beginning of my training cycle for LA. I did not tell very many people it was my goal. The people I did tell had their doubts that I could do it. I have often let fear and doubt stop me from even pursuing a goal, but this time I did not. That is why it means so much to me. It is not about the race time; it is about not letting self doubt stop me like it has so many times before. Hopefully, I can translate this lesson into other areas of my life too.
Do find lessons you learn from running help you in other areas of your life?