Yesterday I got my 5-miler I had planned in at the park after work. Even though it was ridiculously hot (aka 89°), I managed to keep around a 9:48 pace. This isn't as fast as I would like to be by any means, but I think it's still a pretty decent pace considering the heat, humidity and the fact that I really haven't been running a ton of mileage just yet.
I have to admit something. I have a tendency to be kind of hard on myself. I am definitely a perfectionist, even though as I've gotten older I've become more comfortable with just being sure to do MY best instead of being sure that what I do is perfect.
As I was running yesterday, I couldn't help but feel a little frustrated with myself. I'm nowhere near the kind of shape I'd like to be in before starting marathon training in 2 weeks. I really wanted to be confidently running the half-marathon distance before then, and at this point I haven't even hit the 10-mile distance yet.
I know I shouldn't be beating myself up over this. I am going to be running 2 10-milers before my training plan starts... and the first long run on it is 10 miles. I am running at a really good pace all things considered. Sure, it's not fast enough to run a 4:00 marathon, but there's no reason to be worried about pace right now. And the 4:00 marathon is my lofty goal... my realistic goal is to just get a new PR... anything better than 4:31:23 will do.
I just have to remind myself that I was playing it safe and smart the past few months. I needed to take it easy and be sure I didn't overdo it as I was getting back into shape.
The thing is, I am in really good shape right now. Maybe I could have been better, but I don't know that I could have done anything to be in substantially better shape for this marathon training cycle aside from completing a marathon training cycle beforehand.. and that wasn't possible this time.
I'm trying to be realistic about what this training cycle is going to be like for me. I'm trying to remind myself that even if this marathon isn't a 4:00 marathon, I am going to have plenty of other opportunities after it to try again. No matter what, running the Chicago marathon is going to be AWESOME.
So... here's to not worrying and not being hard myself. And here's to knowing that I'm about to start training for another marathon and the whole 16-weeks from the first run through the marathon finish line is going to rock.