"You set yourself up for Disappointment"

I wear my running heart on my sleeve (who knew, huh!).

Almost all people who run with me or talk to me about my running (or read my blog) know my high-level goals. A lot of people have been with me in my journey this season, through travel, through fake injuries, through training runs, through recovery drinks and more. But only some (my coaches and a couple of trusted friends) have been privy to my detailed goals and my thought process.

So it really hurts and I’m taken aback when someone who’s not known everything there is to know about me makes a blanket statement that I put too much into it.

Although I need not answer to anyone, I’m still addressing what I was told.

“Expectations set up the ground for Failure”

I just don’t get this. Yes, I am a newbie runner of 2 years but I do not understand what is wrong with having goals!

I am in awe, but when I put in the proper training I am not afraid of the marathon distance. The distance brings its challenges to me. Challenges that I strive to overcome. My reasons for wanting to overcome are simple – I like the challenge and I like achieving something that I never thought possible 2 years ago. There are other things that I am afraid of and this journey has helped me slowly own up to those fears and try to face them.

“Setting Myself up for Failure”

So – No. I did not set myself up for failure by wanting to achieve my time goal. Chicago was my third marathon and 5:38 – 5:45 was a very sensible range for me. A range that I came up with after discussing it with coaches who know my running and my numbers.

I was fairly confident of getting to it. I had trained with the perfect training paces for it, hitting the McMillan recommended paces in long runs, tempos and Yasso800s. Except for taper when I got caught up with work and sickness, I had followed every recommended run. I almost always had finished my long runs with negative splits and finished strong.

“Psyching Myself up into Failure”

Yes, I was nervous. But then, who isn’t? Nervous excitement manifests itself in different ways. And mine is in talking about it and making feeble jokes about it. My husband will attest to how unbearable I am during taper.

Some people have told me that I shouldn’t be nervous as this is my third marathon distance. To that I say – I want to be nervous, I want to be excited beyond words, I want all those emotions of high and despair. I love that thrill, and it is a part of me only for a week or two!

When I start taking races complacently, it is time for me rethink if it really matters to me (The words of someone wise, not mine).

“Sickening” Myself into Failure

I don’t even know how to word this! Without making excuses for the way I felt at Chicago – I was sick. I ran a crazy 26.2 mile distance with a temperature and elephant on my chest.

Symptoms started Tuesday/Wednesday that week. I did all in my power to keep it at bay without resorting to anti-biotics, which I am not a fan of (It wasn’t full blown and there was a chance that it could go either way). Short of that, there was nothing I could’ve said or done that would’ve helped me get to the start line without that temperature and chest congestion.

It was one of those unexpected things and I accept that as part of my journey. If nothing, finishing that marathon as strongly (relative word) as I did shows that I’m much tougher than I give credit for.

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The next time you assume that I feel like I failed because I didn’t meet my goal. Please don’t . I don’t feel like I failed. I feel like I still would like to meet that goal.
The next time you assume that I fail because its all in my head. Please don’t. My head is a perfectly analytical brain that makes a sensible decision on how much to drive my body.

(ps: Lest anyone misunderstand from my rant, this is not directed towards any of my coaches or friends. You have been nothing but the best of encouragers and guides.)

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