So, I completely stank up my half marathon last week, and that was a pretty big blow for me. I wasn't expecting a PR, but I did expect to run decent, as I've had a lot more energy lately and been having some pretty good workouts. Being that I want to keep the nature of this post positive, I will give a reader's digest version of some reflections I've made about my recent racing/running.
1) For a few reasons that are known and unknown to me, my confidence has taken a huge plunge lately. This is very much impacting my racing success (or what I view as success).
2) TOO MUCH STUFF is happening in my head while racing. Too many negatives, not enough positives. It's literally giving me little panic attacks. I admit, when I read that it seems ridiculous. I'm like, "Rebecca, sheesh, PULL IT TOGETHER." I don't know where this monster in my head came from, but it is very much real and very much terrible.
3) I am in getting in shape. Unfortunately, my head has not gotten the memo.
After the half marathon bomb, I had a big (big for me) speed workout on Tuesday night. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't already having anxiety about it. I procrastinated the workout to Wednesday morning- in the dark, in the 3ish hour, alone, and I nailed it. *Sidenote: Of course, I still wouldn't believe that I nailed it. I had to think of 500 reasons why the workout wasn't great. Thankfully, I have a coach that realizes I am a complete Looney Tunes Head Case and was able to talk me out of this thinking after about 10 text messages before 6 a.m.
So, today was the 2nd to last race in our Grand Prix series. I was leading the series by one point, with Sam in 2nd. I knew going in that if I wanted to hold the title, I would have to beat Sam. In my head, I also know that if she beat me, we would tie, and that would be okay, too. However, coach nixed the "race" aspect of it and put me into "workout" mode, which I tried to act mad about, but was secretly happy.
Therefore, I went into this morning with the intent of having a good, strong workout. Sam and I haven't run together much recently due to her job sucking, and I was really excited to be able to run and hang out with her. It is genuine when I say that I never mind losing to her- we're like slower versions of Shalene and Kara! We rode to the race together, and after arriving met up with the other Becca. I hope no one takes this the wrong way, but we all assumed that we would be first through third, but the cool thing is that we all kind of share race paces, and it could've been anyone's race. We've all beat each other at some point.
I did want a somewhat decent time, even if I was only doing a "workout" and I started out about 10 seconds faster per mile than tempo pace. I did promise myself that if it felt too hard, I would back off to tempo pace and be OKAY with it. And that's what I did, but lucky for me, it never got too hard. Each of the 5 miles were within 2 seconds of each other, the last mile being the fastest. Becca took off pretty fast and was able to hold it. She ran awesome and got top female. Sam and I were together for a bit, but then she faded back, and I took 2nd with her 3rd.
I really, really had fun out there today. I had so many friends cheering for on the out and back, and I got to cheer for them. The course had a few turns and hills, and the road was a mess, but it ran right by the bay and the water was beautiful! The best part by far were the inmates. Yep, the INMATES. The race benefitted the local women's shelter which the sheriff's department also supports. The inmates worked the water stop and had some awesome much playing! We rocked out to Jessie's Girl and they totally loved my flowered skort. One guy screamed, "Holy crap, that chick has on a skirt and she is FAST!" Hahaha. I then went back out and did some more hard work to round out a really good workout for the day! When Sam and I were cooling down, the inmates were still out there. They cheered for us again and it wasn't just lame clapping; it was serious screaming and rocking. Then one guy jumped out and sprayed confetti all over us! Hahaha, it was GREAT!
After we passed them, we pretty said that that had been the best water stop EVER, and they would put the Wesleyan girls to shame. We had a great time at the post race party, except for our times getting screwed up. Gotta love those hand-timed races... Oh well, I had a good workout, and that's the important thing for me.
I've been pretty true to myself with the goals I set after Woodlands. I've only had TWO Diet Cokes in the past 10 weeks. I've pretty much cut out my nightly wine (maybe once or twice a week now), and I've made a solid effort to get more sleep. I'm slowly losing the poundage I gained, but trying not to stress to much about it, just trying to make good and healthy decisions for myself. I've been taking my supplements, and currently have NO bruises!
The thing now to work on is my head. It is by far my biggest weakness. My running buddy, Robyn, and I have made a pact to keep it positive and not go on complete bashing binges of ourselves anymore. I plan to use a lot of strategies from Elizabeth's blog to hopefully help me. She's been working with a sports psychologist for the past maybe year (?) and has had a lot of success. A lot of what she has gone through with her racing reminds me of myself, but I love the way she's handled it. She has really learned how to overcome the negative self-talk during races and is now able to look at her running from lots of different aspects, not just the time on the clock. THAT is what I need. Of course I will continue to read Adrienne's blog to help me keep my head up, too.
Run Happy, friends!