Practicing Brave – a training race

I have so many dreams and goals for Boston – the least of which actually has anything to do with the time on the clock when I cross the finish line….

I want to savor every moment of the experience, from the time I board the plane to the moment I return home.

I want to celebrate and enjoy being with some of the most amazing friends in my life, friends who share my love for this sport and who I get to see maybe once a year at best.  We are going to make the most incredible memories together there!

I want to connect with the awesome running community, make new friends, and be a part of the incredible energy in Boston that weekend.  To be united with everyone there – especially after what happened with the bombings last year.

I want to run a smart race, to be strategic about my pacing and my fueling.  I want to come into Boston around Mile 20 and have the energy and presence of mind to finish strong and fast.

I want to do my very best on race day, to not give up or give in when it gets hard.  Because it will get really, really hard.  I want to push myself and allow myself to go to that very uncomfortable place and grow through it.  Fight through it.

And most of all, I want to be BOLD.  BRAVE.

I want to take risks and trust that when I do that, it will all work out as it’s meant to.  After all, if I don’t give it all I’ve got, I won’t know what’s possible.

Over the last 9+ weeks as I have been training for Boston, this has been my theme. My personal mantra.  I’m working on letting go, pushing myself and being courageous and brave when it comes to my running (and in many ways, how I live my life).  Practicing getting uncomfortable and trusting in myself to have the strength to power through the toughest of places, to be ALL IN in the moment — emotionally, mentally and physically.

Every marathon training cycle I like to put a shorter race (usually a 10 miler or half marathon) in my training plan to test my fitness and practice my strategy along the way.  When I planned out this Boston cycle though I picked a local half marathon that is very hilly and decided I would just practice marathon goal pace there, making it a part of my long run, and not really take any risks or try for a personal best at the 13.1 distance.  I still think it’s a great idea and I plan to execute it that way, but something about not really racing at all during this training cycle was kind of getting to me.

So today I made a decision.  I signed up for the Rock n Roll USA half marathon right here in DC.  Race day is on March 15th, eleven days away.  My plan on that day is to practice my brave.  To practice my fight.  To work on my trust.  To take risks and see what I’ve got in me – really put it all out on the line.  It’s a tough course with a beast of a hill about halfway through.  I ran this race last year while training for Boston – with a double ear infection – it was a tough day!  One thing I like about doing the same race again is that it is an opportunity to measure myself up to myself a year ago.

I’m feeling really excited to have this race on my schedule now and I can’t wait to feel the race-day jitters and butterflies in my tummy, to pin my bib on and see what I’ve got in me!

Do you like to RACE something as part of your training for a marathon?  Will you be at RnR USA this year?

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