File this under, "How To Wreck Your Race Confidence in 3 Easy Steps".
When you begin to taper...
1) Run less and less mileage in between key workouts. Eventually, you'll begin to wonder if you're even in shape any more.
2) Place extra, extra importance on the few "key workouts" that are left. Make sure to approach each key workout with the mindset that IF you run it well, THEN and only THEN will you be afforded the " proof" of fitness. Because nothing says FAIL like pressure.
3) Sit back and notice how each progressive workout leaves you more and more stressed and less and less confident. Make sure to congratulate yourself on a job well done.
OK, so I have not done a bang-up job of peaking. Again. It seems that peaking at the right time for a marathon is my personal cross to bear. (Ooooh...nice tie in with the Polar Bears. Did you notice that? Totally accidental).
Looking back on the last month, I really came into my own with MP Intervals on the week of April 5th. I followed up a great mid-week Interval workout with a really great 18-mile Progression Run that turned into a Last-5-Miles-As-Fast-As-You-Can-Run run.
Every week after that week has brought nothing but feelings of being stale, and a growing doubt about being able to sustain goal race pace. This is where I began having anxiety about my key workouts. I've had no good key workouts since that 18 miler on 4/10. It's a toal mystery to me as to the reason for this. Perhaps it's mental. After that great week, I felt as if I couldn't run any better than I was running. Then I made it come true. And THIS is what has sapped my confidence.
Heading into Sunday's race, I know "rationally" that I'm in shape for a good effor. What's missing is the confidence those last key workouts should provide, but haven't.
Yet, you never know.
Perhaps this mindset will serve me well. It might just keep me from making the same pacing errors (over-confident pace) I've made in the past. So, basically, I don't know what to think.
I guess I'll just show up and run.
Perhaps this should be filed under, "I Am In A Weird, Weird Place"?
Reading Adam's post about his boring dreams made me remember this:
I dreamt last night that I was in the Olympic 100 Meters final. (Like I had to preface THAT with, "I dreamt")! I was nervous. My nervous tick of tying and re-tying my shoes to get them to feel "just riiight" was kicking in bigtime, and I was holding up the entire race. Finally, some coach came over and asked me what the HELL I was doing- just line up already, he says. So I line up in some goofy way (come to think of it, I didn't see any blocks...). The coach comes over and physically adjusts how I'm standing, looks at me like I'm a moron, gives me final instructions on what to do, and the gun goes off. I run the race of my life and WIN.