Tomorrow is my first race back post stress fracture. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous as I had mentioned in my last post. Yesterday I had a mild bit of anxiety and was ready to bail on it. Why? I’m healthy now. Nothing really hurts and nothing is broken. Why do I think Sunday would change this? Because I was pretty much traumatized at the Sporting Life 10km last year when without any pre race signs of injury ( other than utter exhaustion and a feeling that something wasn’t right with me leading up?..I now know those are signs! ), I sustained a stress fracture in the 7th km of the race. That’s my last memory of racing. Followed by 17 weeks of rehab, soul searching and getting healthy). So I sent out two emails yesterday, one to my coach ( new coach in the last four months or so) and one to my sports psychologist. Both had excellent advice.
In Sept of 2013 I posted my best 5km time in 19:34. My track workouts hit sub 4:00 Km’s and all went great in that race. I’ve wanted to go sub 20 for a long time and this blew away my expectations. A few days ago I ran a test workout and 4:20’s were challenging. It still blows my mind how much fitness I lost but wisdom I gained in the last 10 months . So tomorrow is not about PB’s . It’s about testing my mind and my body to run the first few Km’s steady but comfortable and increase the pace in the last km or two if all feels good and my mind is ok with it. I’ve never run a race like that! Especially a 5km I go hard and hang on. My coach wants to me run without my watch so pace is not an issue and body feel is. I told him I want the data but I promise to turn it upside down or just not look at it. I can do that…..😃👍..
My sports psychologist who has helped me in the past and more so through my latest set back suggested I write down some non time related goals for tomorrow. What better place to do that than here:
1. Run relaxed and with good form .
2. Don’t worry about my time. It doesn’t matter.
3. Be confident that the new healthier , smarter me can handle the task ahead and will come out just fine.
4. Enjoy the moment. It’s not about winning , setting a PB or any of that. I can do this for the love of the sport and to welcome myself back into the racing scene.
Ok that’s it. I’ve done it and now it’s time to put all that positive energy into tomorrow. Yes it’s just a 5km but to run a fast strong 5km you’ve got to pretty much put it on the line from the start and give it 85-90% of your effort. Not an easy task. However , I just promised NOT to do that and to test my body and my mind and engage it in ways I was unable to even 6 months ago. I’ve just been building speed back since January so I need to not worry about what those around me are gunning for and stay within my own boundaries and limits.
I’ll save the real efforts for much later in the season when I know my fitness and my confidence in my body are there.
To all those racing the 5km or the 30km I wish you the best of luck in whatever your goals may be.
See you at the finish line. I may be the one crying ….not for pain or anything like that, but for beating down my own demons.