For the next six months, I have committed myself to becoming obsessed with three important numbers: 8:12. Why are those so important? Because that is the mile pace that I need to run for 26.2 miles to qualify for the Boston Marathon on June 8th at the Utah Valley Marathon. Since I am one with MAJOR commitment issues, this is HUGE. I mostly have commitment issues, because I never am one to "half-ass" anything. Once I am committed, I am fully invested. Last night, I finally made the commitment after 18 months of going back and forth deciding if I will ever run another marathon after failing to qualify my last marathon.
I have committed for many reasons. The biggest motivation is this quote that I have lived by for the past year:
"The fear of failure is ultimately selfish; it reflects a preoccupation with self and overlooks the fact that one's strength and abilities come from the divine mind". -Hank Paulson.
Besides realizing how important it is for me to reach for my dreams, despite the fear of failure, I feel like I have learned A LOT by running 6 half marathons this summer.
I learned how to race. I learned how to be mentally tough for an extended period of difficulty. I learned that sometimes things are completely beyond my control, and I can't focus on them as much. I learned the importance of training- it keeps you very very honest come race day. I have learned that I can't just rely on my natural talents, I have to actually commit myself to a real training program.
Initially when I made the commitment, I decided "Okay, but this is my last try. If I fail, I am done". After thinking about it for the last day, I realized if I fail this time, there's not a chance I am just going to quit and give up. That's not who I am, nor ever will be.
I am excited for the future. I am excited for marathon number three. Hopefully training goes well. Hopefully I qualify. Hopefully I don't get injured. BUT, I can only control what I can and do my best!
This is the 30 week training program I have committed to: http://www.halhigdon.com/training/51150/Marathon-Personal-Best-Training-Program
I haven't ever followed a training program, so this is a whole new territory for me.
A look back on the last two:
2011- My sights were set high. This was one year after a major ankle surgery, and I was more motivated than ever. I trained some, but planned on relying mostly on my natural talents like I had my previous marathon. I was really disappointed that not only did I not qualify, but that race made me very honest. I left with a lot of "what if's". I should've trained more, focused on the mental side, ran more hills, put in more miles, etc. I didn't qualify, because I was too confident in my pure, natural talent. I didn't deserve to qualify, because I didn't put in the hard work required. While this was a HUGE disappointment, I learned more from this race than any other race I have ever ran. It has seriously taken me 18 months to move on from this race!
Time: 3 hours 57 minutes
2009- This was my first marathon. I was working at a gym as a personal trainer at the time. I was in very good shape, and really strong. I was a lot more committed to a healthier diet. The funny thing- I didn't decide to run this marathon until a week before when I found out I didn't have work. This marathon made me love the distance. It made me realize that I can do hard things. While I relied purely on my natural talent, if I would have had a bad experience in this race, I probably wouldn't be running today. This was the perfect first marathon...even though I got a stress fracture at mile 20. Once again, my lack of mileage and training kept me honest.
Time: 3 hours 47 minutes.
In case you were wondering, to qualify for Boston, I have to run in under 3 hours, 35 minutes.
Here's to the next 30 weeks!