Wednesday, May 2, 2012

'My Fast' - at the New Jersey Marathon

Well. I have grown to love Marathons. Who would of thought! I was a sprinter, a hurdler, a high, long & triple jumper. All very powerful explosive events. Certainly not endurance based. But as my coaches said to me in HS & College- Give me a couple weeks at any event and i will figure out. Well, the marathon, took me much much longer than a couple of weeks but im there! I feel fast, like i did when running the 400 meter dash!
Fast! what a word with so many meanings. Anyone that runs or bikes or does any type of endurance event is fast and has fast in them, anyone. In their own way. Everyones fast is different. So my fast may be someone elses slow or anothers way out of reach. Just as another persons fast may be way beyond anything i can do. But for me, i am fast! Why do i explain this or even bring it up - because i want everyone to know that YOU have a fast! YES! YOU! You have a fast! You just have to DO! Some of you Do already! Some of you know exactly what i am talking about. Others are still waiting to DO and others are DOing but struggle to believe that they are fast - you are! It is an amazing feeling when you find that belief, truly amazing. So my friends - you too are FAST!

Love sign for I love RUNNING!
 Am i world class marathoner? Not even close! But i enjoy every single step i take during one. I have passion in each step to the finish. And that!.......THAT makes me find MY fast!
As most my blogs state, i like to do this to help me talk my thoughts out which helps my nerves and helps turn negative thoughts into positive ones. I do not go back and check it out when done typing or change things up. i just type. I never know what i am going to type until my fingers hit the keys. This is not pre thought out. Thinking so much can be a positive thing, but also a negative. My thoughts get so tangled up in my brain that i can't sort them out and sometimes can't sleep. Writing them out helps unwind them and clear my head. So, here it goes, hope this helps my crammed head!
Nerves are set in so much more than ever for the marathon coming up. I use to get nervous before running races back in college but i haven't in a long time. The marathon is Sunday and the nerves have been here for about..... well..... 3 weeks now. UGH! And they are getting stronger each day it gets closer. Not quite sure why. Could be many reasons:
1. Could it be that my first marathon was this marathon, 15 years ago. And it was their first as well. The NJ Marathon is celebrating their 15th year running this Sunday. So it is very exciting to go back and run it again and run it hopefully almost an hour faster than i did it the last time. And at the same time see a bunch of old friends in the process, after and during. Friends that i grew up with yes, but also friends that i ran with that i competed on the same team with, there to cheer me on! Brings back an excitement type anxiety!
A touch on the 'My Fast' thingy again. Here is a great example. 15 years ago, i ran this marathon and was thrilled with how i did. It was My Fast at that time! Now, it would be my slow. But see what i mean - you all have a fast! as long as you are doing!
2. Could it be that this marathon is a much smaller race than i normally do. I usually like to enter big named full and half marathons, its just my thing. I usually do a race based on its fame. Almost like i have a check list of them: New York, Boston, Chicago.....etc. Races too big to place even in age groups for me. But i thrive on being a part of these big time events. But with those types of events,  i am just a small fish in a big pond. Top runners there (the pros) are running sub 1:10 for the half and sub 2:30s for the full, certainly not times i can do.. At these races i am just another runner in the mix of the crowd.  It has been comfortable yet exciting for me to do them. I guess the 2 reasons i find myself doing them. To enjoy being a part of such a cherished popular race in this world. I haven't been nervous for any of those races, which, due to the size of them and that i had big goals for them, i thought i would. With this one coming up, yes, i still have big goals for myself, but it is much smaller and there will be no pros running those times, taking the spotlight. No, that doesn't mean i can win the thing this Sunday as im sure there will be plenty of  faster females there but certainly an age group place is a possibility and even if i can't do that , i won't be that small of a fish this time, I will stand out more....that is if all goes well. who knows, maybe i will see top 20! or top 10!
Is that it? Is that why im more nervous than usual. Because more eyes may be on me. Giving me that feeling of pressure to do well, to do what i came out to do. Not sure. i would think not, as i don't usually care how i do amongst the rest of the runners. But again, that also could be because i always enter these races that i know going into it i will be an unknown. Even though im there for self satisfaction on Sunday. I have my own goals and it has nothing to do with the others that are there running next to me. I will still stay true to that. 
3. Could it be that i am  feeling so much stronger than ever before. So strong i don't know what to do with it! Does that even make sense? Nervous about what i can do - YES! big time! I know i can PR. I hope! A PR for me would be a 3:15. But i feel strong enough to run a 3:10. But scared to try! Afraid if i try and can't do it i could hit the wall so badly i miss out even on a PR i feel will be very easy for me to do.
I am a coach. i know all these thoughts and feeling are quite normal. I preach them to my athletes. And i try to calm my thoughts with the things i tell them before a marathon or half marathon or half ironman! I know i have major strength i have yet to discover, i preach this to my spinning classes over and over until i see them show me they get it! Show me through their eyes which is coming from their souls. So why, why if i work with this with others all day every day do i struggle finding the belief inside when it comes down to my moment, to trust my strength i know is there. Well, i guess....i think..... it is just all part of it! It is how it works for me. I have a couple of friends that know me so well that when it gets close to big A race day they are waiting for it. And when i express my scared thoughts, they say your right on target. We have been waiting for it, you are ready to explode! They know how i get each time i do well. More than i do. So, i will trust them! And go forward with it!

wow. so as i write down all my thoughts while it really does help me iron out the tangles. if you read this through, you basically were inside my mind for a bit. I have trouble expressing my thoughts verbally, i always have. This seems so easy for me. So you my friends are in my head hearing my thoughts, helping me untangle the mess of stuff in my mind that i can't do unless i write.
These 3 things i think have been on my mind but i had no clue. But truthfully, i think it is mostly #3 that is making me most nervous. The other 2 i feel are just to side track me! create more thoughts. But now, i have cleared those thoughts and already feel a little less nervous. Still nervous but i think i will be able to sleep tonight.

So, here i go. Off to marathon #11. The race is this sunday, and it starts at 8am. you can track me online at the marathons website... my bib # is 3390. Or you can type in my name. I start in the second wave. ????
Let me know if you will be tracking me. It seems to help me. Thinking about each of you seeing my progress as i go over each timing mat makes me feel you are right at that timing mat saying "GO JEN GO!!!."