Boston Marathon 2010: Locked & Loaded

I've given up any pretense of even pretending to work today. It's not going to happen. Too much angst going on to think about silly things like work. 

If I bottom out in the marathon, it's not going to be because I physically wasn't ready. It's going to be because I mentally psyched myself out. Way too much brain chatter going on about the race. I went out this morning for the last 3-mile run. One mile warm-up and 2 miles at race pace of 8:23/mile and I blathered on the entire way. I'm tired. The pace is too fast and it's only 3 miles. My God, I'm not ready. I should rethink my pace. Maybe run the 8:35 pace from Chicago so I feel better during the race. No, it's just the warm-up. I'm always tired the first few miles until I get a rhythm. No, it's a sign. I'm not ready. Stop the negative chatter! Think positive! Imagine yourself crossing the finish line at Boston. No, not limping across crying. Happy thoughts! Happy finish line!"

Before Chicago, I felt strong. Mentally and physically. I was pretty sure I was going to have the run of my life and I did. This time, the self-confidence is low. Very low. And I can't quite figure out why. But I BETTER figure out why before I get to the start or else the mental game will drag me under. 

I'm reminding myself of what I felt when I signed up for Boston. It was a freebie. For fun. I knew most everything I like to control before a race (dinner, morning routine, etc. ) would be out the door and I was looking forward to that. I'd just go with the flow and see where I ended up. No pressure. No goals. Just run. Run run, keep running, run some more and boom! Finished. 

That's what I need to hold on to. I think this mental chatter is me grappling with finding some measure of control over the race. I also think I'll be a lot happier and enjoy the experience when I just let go and say, "You know what? It is what it is. Let's do this and have fun." 

Maybe that will be my new running mantra. "Unclench, Dena. Unclench." ;)