Friday, May 24, 2013

dear alicia (the pre-race prep talk)

dear alicia - 

tomorrow is race day. you've worked your butt off for roughly twelve weeks to train for tomorrow. do you feel ready?

to say that training has been easy would be a lie. we both know how rough it has been at times. between injuries, weeks of being so painfully slow and the accompanying self-doubt that follows those slow paces, well, i don't blame you for feeling frustrated, for maybe being scared of what the race tomorrow will or won't bring. 

but i'm here to remind you of a few things, because i know that there is only one person you will really, truly listen to, and that is yourself. 

first and foremost, i know you doubt your qualifications of being a runner based on how each run goes and how your body feels on each run. let me clear something up for you: you are a runner. period. there are no ifs, ands, or buts about this. whether you run fast or you run slow or you run less than you wanted or more, you are a runner each and every single day. one run does not define you. one race does not define you. it is the accumulation of all the runs and all the races you put your effort into that makes you a runner. stop denying yourself the beautiful and amazing distinction you deserve. you are a runner. 

second, i know you want to pr more than anything. i know this is the race you have set in your mind and in your training plan and on your blog as the race to crush your pr. and i know you think if you don't pr or hit your times, you've failed. i don't know how to convince you that failure and success have nothing to do with the time on a clock. success and failure has everything to do with your perspective. whatever you consider a success will be and whatever you consider a failure will be as well. so consider the possibility of different measures of success. maybe its finishing the race with a smile on your face, or running without pain or just running at all! and consider the possibility that there is no failure in this situation. if you get up, get out there and run, how can you fail? how can that possibly be failing? doing something you love to do is failure? now that doesn't make any sense, does it? keep your perspective in mind and please, for the love of all things positive, try and pick some different measures of success to celebrate tomorrow after you cross that finish line. 

finally, consider the bigger picture. remember why you're doing this 5k in the first place. it wasn't to pr, though that is a nice add-on for all the 5ks you signed up for. you're doing this 5k to complete your 5k challenge. this race is the second to last race in the challenge. you've almost completed a goal you set out to accomplish almost a year ago. isn't that amazing? isn't that success worth more than any performance anxiety, frustrations, pressure and stress you're burying yourself under? focus on the greater meaning of this race. this race should be a celebration of how far you've come in a year, because really kid, you've come a long, long way.

at the end of the day, its undeniable that you're ready for this. you've trained, you've picked out the perfect playlist and you've mastered your nutrient timing. so the question you need to ask yourself is not whether you're ready for the race. the real question is... is this race ready for you? dig in, feel the run and leave it all out on the course tomorrow! i'm cheering for you.

love,

alicia

7 comments:

  1. You got this girl! I'll be cheering for ya!! xo

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  2. I'm cheering for you too!

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  3. Paulette FerenceMay 26, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    The time on the clock message is so good. I struggle with this, making myself feel bad because I'm 'slower' than so many people. But you are right, it doesn't define failure and success.

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  4. Great pep talk. You seem so well prepared for this mentally and I hope it goes great.

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  5. I'm struggling with it on training runs too, and it sounds like you feel that way based on some of your blog posts. If I don't hit the pace in the training schedule I get so mentally destroyed. I have to look past that and just focus on getting the miles in.

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Getting comments feels as good as a freezing cold glass of Gatorade on a hot summer day. So don't be shy - share your thoughts & opinions! - Alicia