Posted by: Susan Loken | August 13, 2010

Sunday – Race Day

Two days before my first competitive race since the 2008 Olympic Trials. Whoo!

I started reading my running logs from past races. Before every goal race there is a very common theme to what I write to myself. In big, capital letters I found:

“Believe in yourself”

“Trust in your training”  

“Never give up, EVER!”  

“Find a level of pain you can tolerate and tolerate it!”

“Short term pain, long term success”

Before one of my best marathons ever, I wrote the words NEVER GIVE UP in my journal and on my hand after the race I wrote “I didn’t give up and I DID IT!” I remember that race well. I wanted so badly to give up, but I didn’t and it was the best race I ever had!

During races (it doesn’t matter if you are elite or middle of the packer), there comes a time when you question if you can go on, or finish. Never give in to that thought. It is usually at the hardest time during the race when  the tides turn and you begin to feel a little better.

If you are pushing yourself, races are not comfortable, it doesn’t matter if you are a 4-hour marathoner or a 2:30 marathoner, it hurts! You have to accept that. Just because you are in good shape, you are still pushing your body to new limits, so the pain or the uncomfortable feeling is the same for all of us.

The best thing about racing is the second that gun goes off, all those butterflies and nervousness goes away. I’m focused on the task at hand, and nothing is going to stop me! Today and tomorrow I will pay special attention to my food intake, water intake and sleep. I need to set myself up for success. If a negative thought enters my mind, I will dismiss it with a positive thought!

If I can run a 1:21:00, then I’m ready to fine-tune my training, and qualify for the Olympic trials in October. Wish me luck, and think positive, fast thoughts for me!

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