Poor Jen, I called her last night and started complaining. About being alone at my races without my family, about how slow I'm feeling. She must've said something to ELF, because I was later instructed on Facebook to pull on the big girl panties and EAT MY VEGETABLES. And they're right. It's time to HTFU, realize that I signed up for these races ostensibly for a reason (like maybe because they'd be fun? or maybe I could set a new PRs?) Neither Jen nor ELF can do that for me, and neither can my family. And while it would be nice to have a familiar face meet me at mile 20 and say "Let's get you to the finish line sooner rather than later," I shouldn't rely on that. Just like in an IM, it should be ME that gets me to the finish line. That little voice in me in Placid was really annoying, telling me how much better I'd feel if I slowed down, how easier it was to walk than run. It almost had me convinced I didn't even need to finish, but I knew better on that score (Jen and my husband would've killed me!) I don't think I've tuned it out yet either.
I have a hard time with that voice. It is the voice of self-doubt. It can be very persuasive. It is the voice that says the hurt will stop when you do. It can easily wipe out months of hard work and progress with just a little whisper of "what if..." or "you don't need to do this..." or "ouch this hurts." I think this is where people who grow up athletic have it a little better in that they learned to tune out that voice back in high school or college. How do you reprogram that voice when you're just finding that athlete inside yourself at age 41? Ha, Jen, there's a question for your blog!
On the way to dinner I was doing some math. I was trying to remember my pace for the 2007 Monument Avenue 10k which I ran in just over 52 minutes, a 2 minute PR. I wasn't running that race with a specific time goal, but I was running with a friend. She had pulled away from me at the 3 mile mark, and I remember how I push push pushed to find her again and cross the line with her. Where was the voice then? Who knows. But I wanted one thing, and that was to not be beat to the line by much. My fitness has only improved since then, so I have no excuses but damn I still feel slow! Someday I want to run a sub 50 min 10k. Right now though, my 800m repeats that have me dying by the end are not far off that 8 1/2 min/mile pace from 2007. Is IM training really THAT damaging to your speed?!
While at dinner, Joey asked how much I'd pay him to eat his vegetables. I told him he better get used to being hungry, because I won't bribe him to eat. I guess I better figure out what I'm craving, and how badly I want it. No one is going to eat those veggies for me, and even if I have to choke them down, they're good for me.