Allright, here it is...
Well, first let me say that I had quite the light-bulb moment yesterday about my mental preparation for the race. I suddenly recognized a pattern, which goes something like this:
In the couple of weeks before a race, I'm start feeling really good. Obviously this is due to adequate training and all that, and it's a good thing that I'm "peaking" at the right time.
So, I start day dreaming and fantasizing about my race and how good I'm going to do. I start getting faster and faster in these fantasies, I mean I'm really kicking some ass in my mind.
Then, a couple of days before the race (YESTERDAY) I get scared. My heart races. I'm no longer excited, I'm intimidated. I'm worried. I know I'm going to suck.
What happened? Well, I figured it out yesterday.
I PSYCHED MYSELF OUT!!! Simple as that!! I built myself up without even realizing it, and then became intimidated by these totally unrealistic expectations!! In my fantasy, I see the clock at 1:44:xx and I'm so happy! Well, news flash, sister! That's not going to happen. That wasn't my goal to begin with. That's not what I'm trained for. I completely lost sight of my actual goal.
The second part of this realization came from my old pal Bob Glover. His running book was the first one I bought, and I've kind of abandoned his real-world advice and bullshit data for the hard core Pfitz and Daniels type books. But Bob Glover is a smart guy, and I learned a lot from that book. So last night, I picked it up and opened it up randomly. The page I read is about warming up before a race. He says that in a longer race (half or full marathon) you don't need to run to warm up, just walk and stretch, and treat the first two miles of the race as a warm up.
I knew that! I had totally forgot about it though! That is totally my strategy, and I had totally forgot about it. It certainly wasn't part of my 2006 olympic mind-games where I run a 7:00 pace and come in first. Smack! How lucky that I happened to read that before my race. I'm definitely including this concept in my race strategy.
So, all in all, I learned that I need to stick with my original, realistic goal. I need to have fun! There will be lots more races to run that "dream" race, but I don't have to place those kinds of expectations on myself today. This weekend, I'm going to do my best and have fun.
Main Goal: Sub 1:47:00 (8:10 pace or better)
Acceptable Goal: Beat current PR of 1:49:37 (8:22 pace)
Dream Goal: Sub 1:46:00 (8:05 pace or better)