After a pretty good outing in the vets league, or as someone called it the other day, the OAPs league, the time since has been full of doubt about my ability to break my PB in the target of 9 days from now.
I’ve only been for three runs since the vets league. This in itself is a bit of a worry as I’ve really not felt up to running any more than this because my legs have felt shattered. Also, when I have been out I’ve not been able to get anywhere near the pace I achieved there and every run has felt like a real effort. A short run on Sunday took place following attendance at a wedding on the Saturday. The wedding featured a free bar and predictably led to a late night so the poor run on the Sunday isn’t really a surprise, but the other two have felt equally sluggish without obvious reason.
There’s a rational part of me that’s telling me that right now I’m obviously going to start to worry and feel I can’t achieve what I set out to. If ever there was going to be a doubt, it was going to kick in as the event got near. Presumably, the doubt will be even more present on the morning of the 16th but at that point a lot of it will be out of my control. Right now it feels like everything should be nicely in control, but isn’t.
In a strange sort of way though I’m also pleased because the doubt means I have at least been successful in setting myself a target I could realistically fail at. That’s good, the level of challenge was right, but has my effort and application being what it should to achieve it?
Yesterday I put a post on twitter asking for some advice about my “heavy” legs. The response from the twitter running community has been immense and if I wanted to, and had enough money, there would be about 372 things I could now based on people’s suggestions to improve my results going forward. Whilst this is amazing it’s left me a bit frustrated with myself that I didn’t do a bit more research or ask for help earlier rather than just assuming that hard work alone would get me to the result I wanted.
I really don’t like the phrase “working smart” but I think if I’m going to get any better, working hard isn’t going to be enough to keep me making the gains I want to. In fact, it might be a real possibility that I’m working too hard at running and therefore am surely not being particularly smart about it. Apparently you can’t repeatedly run at a pace near to race pace without overdoing it. Reading that sentence back to myself now it seems pretty obvious but when I’m out on a run anything less than about 90% just feels odd and implementing this into training is going to need more discipline than repeatedly going all out currently does.
If anyone who replied to my post is reading this then I’d like to give a sincere thank you for all the free advice given. It was my intention when I started writing this yesterday to just write about my self-doubt but it feels like to do so would be a bit ignorant, in every sense, of all the good will and expertise people have taken their time to share. If my doubts are realised and I fail to get my PB on the 16th June then I’ll go again armed with a much greater wealth of knowledge. Hopefully that will be accompanied by the common sense to put it into action and not just assume that everything can be achieved through hard work alone.