I find myself in uncharted waters. I am anticipating a spring marathon (Boston), which I've never done at all, let alone following a fall marathon training plan. I need to keep my eye on the calendar to make sure I'm getting back to mileage in a reasonable fashion without overdoing it, so that I can focus building my base for a couple months before starting a training plan for Boston. And, I find myself in the realm of having a goal time and expectations far faster and better than I would have thought. In '05 I was thrilled to break 4:30. Now, the possibility of running an hour faster than that is on the horizon. An HOUR faster?? Where did this come from?
I'm excited for the potential to be better and overwhelmed with what I need to learn and overcome in order to do so. Now that the BQ race is in the past, I can critically analyze my race to know I could do better on the same training. But it's because I've learned lessons you can only learn from experience. Trusting my training. Being brave enough to go for the optimistic goal and strong enough to handle it if I fall apart. I think having a BQ - that which is the holy grail of running - in the bag, I can now focus on my long-term running life. That is, one marathon need not be the end-all of my training. That one marathon is but a piece of a year - or years - of training, and that there will always be another race. I think the fear of not qualifying perhaps slowed me down. From now on, I want to work on pushing myself and not being afraid to get out of my comfort zone for the potential to do something greater. 3:20s here I come.