Those close to me know that I worry…A LOT!!! Whether it’s the weather forecast for next Saturday, the blister on my toe, the email I forgot to send at work, or the possibility I may not have unplugged my straightener before leaving the house, the worries occupy my mind for far longer than they should. With less than 3 weeks before my Boston qualifying attempt at the Last Chance BQ2 Marathon, I am quite the basket case.
Here’s how my mind raced this past weekend…Is my training pace too fast or slow? Should I eat that cracker? How many miles should I have on my shoes for race day? Will that 2nd glass of wine hurt my training run tomorrow? How about the 3rd? Should I wear this year’s team singlet or last year’s? Who’s going to come watch me? Can I really keep an 8:25 pace for 26.2 miles? Am I ready for this? What if I fail?
I really have no reason to doubt myself. I’ve trained my butt off since last Christmas and followed my plan without any major setbacks. I’m stronger and running better than ever. I experienced a couple tough workouts due to the hot, humid conditions but that is expected. So why am I playing mind games with myself? Is it just my nature?
Jimmy likes to say, “Alright Amanda, you need a checkup from the neck up”. In other words, time to get my head straight. Jimmy does a good job trying to motivate me but at times like this I turn to my Coach, Eric Wallor from FPR. He always finds a way to get inside my head and make things right again.
I wanted one last run on the BQ2 course before race day. So this past Sunday I asked Eric to join me, Jimmy and a couple of our Running Mates for a 7 mile run on the course. Eric, passionate about the Olympics, bypassed the Olympic Men’s Marathon to run with me. That speaks to his amazing character. Of course we all recorded the event to watch later in the day.
Eric and I set out on the run ahead of the others. With discussions about my progress, realizing potential, and race day tactics it didn’t take long for my confidence to build. He advised me to make sure I think positive for the next 3 weeks. Remove any negativity from my life if at all possible. If that means not watching the news then so be it. He reminded me to trust my training and said, “You are ready and you will crush it!”
We finished what was supposed to be a 1 hour recovery run well below marathon goal pace while holding a conversation the entire time. Eric said, “I would normally advise against that speed on a recovery run but it’s a testament to where you are at in your training.” More boost!!!
With an improved attitude, I went home and watched the last 6 miles of the Men’s Olympic Marathon. The performances by Galen Rupp and Jared Ward were simply incredible. To know it was only Rupp’s second marathon made it almost unbelievable. I had goose bumps. To see Meb suffer in-race struggles yet dig deep and find a way to finish 33rd was truly courageous. They made our country proud and left me inspired.
A while back Eric suggested I read a book titled. “A Champions Mind” by Jim Afremow. It’s a motivating book on how successful athletes think, train & thrive. So far, so good. On my training runs this week I’ve had a different type of energy. I always say I like to run but these last couple have been more enjoyable than normal. I have post-it notes on my desk at work to help me stay focused and positive.
Here’s part of an email that Eric sent to me and two others he coaches who are also running Last Chance BQ2:
“All three of you can qualify for Boston at this race. If you haven’t started to do some kind of visualization about the race I would like you to start now.
I want you see yourself running well throughout the race and crossing the finish line and qualifying for Boston. I want you to feel what that feeling will be like, what that experience will be like. And finally, I want you to visualize the joy and celebration you will have once you accomplish this.
So, see it, feel it, and enjoy it. Do that visualization 2-3 times a week starting now. Along with all the training and other preparation we are doing the more you can internalize and believe you will achieve your goal the more likely it will happen.”
Words of wisdom from a great leader! Thanks Eric!
I’d like to know…If you’re ever self-doubting or unmotivated, what do you do about it? What are some things you do to keep and maintain a positive attitude?
Please comment below!
by: Jimmy K
Photos by: Elaine Villaflores
“Thank you for volunteering!” Those are typically the first words I utter when I cross the finish line because the first person to greet me is usually the person (more…)
By Jimmy K with special contribution from Ed Hayes
My favorite part about training for Louisville came in the 12 weeks after receiving this email:
Sent: Sunday, February 07, 2016 9:17 PM
Subject: Re: Saturday Run-Barrington
So I think I’ve lost my mind (more…)
Radiant, Enthusiastic, Fun, Energized, Sparkling, Amazing, and Fascinating! When I asked some of my running mates for one word that describes Ann Alegnani, those were the responses. I agree with all of those descriptions (more…)
“You don’t have exercise induced asthma… You have asthma!” That’s what my allergist, Dr. Peterson, told me when I went to see her after nearly collapsing on an 18 mile training run last summer. My running mate Brad, an asthma sufferer, (more…)
When we signed up for this destination race with several friends we had no idea it would be such a magical experience. Many wonderful stories came out of both our training journey and race weekend. We’ll be introducing you to these special (more…)
“Jimmy put your coat on…it’s cold outside!” Yah, yah, don’t worry, I will wear my coat!
Remember when your parents would give you advice or instructions as a teen and the words would go in one ear and out the other? (more…)
“Stay with me mom! I need you to help get me through these last miles!” At some point during every long run and race I talk to her. She is my angel, alongside me for every step. I seem to find strength whenever I reach out to her. Just 18 months ago (more…)
If you saw our pieces on Running Nashville or Running Atlanta you know that we find groups/people to run with when we travel. Group runs are so rewarding for reasons too many to list. Since we are finding random groups to run with away from home we thought…there’s so many groups in Chicagoland, why not find some to run with while we’re home? (more…)
The DREADMILL! It’s the one piece of machinery I’ve come to despise. Many of these belted running decks have banned me for life due to the extreme amount of profanity that often spews from my mouth (more…)
Our meeting had just begun with Jeanine aka “J9”, one of our Regional Directors, quoting Henry Ford…”Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right!” Then Becca, our Sr. Leadership Trainer moved us on to a segment (more…)
My goal was to make Amanda’s birthday and Valentine’s weekend trip to Nashville unforgettable because she sure as hell deserves it! In addition to making many new friends on the runs, we had an incredible (more…)
Remember the board game Candy Land? Who hasn’t played that a time or two? Players had to make their way up a winding path through locations such as Lollipop Woods, Gumdrop Mountains and Molasses Swamp (more…)
Art Petty is a very successful author, speaker, consultant, blogger and thought leader on the subjects of leadership and management. He asked Eric Wallor from Full Potential Running, who is a Coach for several (more…)
Umm…wait a minute lover…Is it my birthday or yours? That was my first thought when Jimmy suggested we kick off our Nashville trip with a 6:00 am run on my birthday with a random run group (more…)