Trust your plan.
Trust your coach.
Trust your fueling.
I've heard all of those things over the years.
But you know what I never hear? Trust yourself.
I know that trust yourself is tucked inside the others, but when you trust your coach, your plan & your fueling, there's nothing left to believe in, except yourself.
Several weeks back, I had a long run. The run was 2 hours with 6 miles at goal half marathon pace. I completed the full 2 hours, but I was off the mark on the paces. Immediately after, I was frustrated, but I shook it off.
A week later, I had a 2:10 long run. This was the longest run of my plan, and I had to cut the run to 1:15.
I missed my longest run. I missed the paces for the previous week.
Wedge between those weeks and this week was a recovery week.
This week, I had my last 2:00 run. This time the run included 7 miles of building to faster than half marathon pace.
Talk about being filled with doubt. I knew my fueling plan. I knew what I would have for breakfast. I knew how much sodium I need, how much water. I put on my favorite running shoes. I packed enough water and left it nearby. I wanted NO excuses for having to stop.
I completely trust Liz. I've seen SO many of her athletes go from back of the packers to some of the fastest people I know.
But, I didn't think I could do this. Yet, I HAD to do it. I needed that run. You know. THE run we all wait for showing us that the work, the sweat....and (for me) tears has been worthwhile.
Liz gave me explicit instructions to NOT look at my heart rate.
I wish I could tell you that I nailed the workout, but I didn't. I was hitting the paces, but I was making the run hard on myself. It was riddled with, "You can't do this. It's too fast. You can't hold this pace. Do you hear me?!!? IT'S JUST TOO FAST."
Half way through my intervals, I realized my legs felt great. I felt strong. My fueling was going perfectly.
I was having the best long run of my life.
Here I was running the exact paces I needed, Yet, I STILL didn't think I could do it.
Was I really feeling this good? Yes.
For the first time ever, I realized I was afraid. I'm not afraid of going hard. I've spent years racing short course. Making the jump to long course means a whole new set of fears. I'm afraid of not being able to sustain the pace.
At that moment, I stopped thinking about not being able to do it, and I ran.
I started my first mile at a 9:46 pace. My last mile was a 9:22 pace with the last kick at 9:13.
These were the fastest paces I have ever run for miles 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12.
My fears had no basis. I was so afraid of thinking I couldn't do it...of thinking how hard it will be....yet, when I stopped thinking and let my legs go, I was able to run faster than I've ever run.
I can't say, because of all this, that I'm a brand new runner! Running without fear!
I know I'm still going to be afraid. Today showed me that I should trust myself. I don't know how to quiet those voices when they come up, but maybe I can just ride them out and not allow them to take root.