So here I am on the eve of the VLM, and I am probably the most excited I have been in a long long time before a race. I have felt a bit flat mentally the past few years with racing, almost as if it is just business as usual. I have known pretty much to the minute what sort of time I would get, and as such, race day had no excitement. It had no what if and maybe this. There is always the possibility of a muscle pull or missing a train or a mechanical issue on the bike of course, but assuming no issues, I have known what sort of time I would get.
This is different. I genuinely feel a buzz going into this as I have trained hard, am injury free, and feel like a coiled up spring waiting for action. Tomorrow could be anywhere from the great (3:10) to the ugly (Sub 4). My benchmark training sessions and key races point towards me running strongly towards the upper end of that estimate, but it is a dive into the unknown.
Following on from my last post, I am determined not to let my mind get the better of me from the off. I feel that I could quite easily run a conservative, well paced 3:30 tomorrow. However, in the pursuit of greatness (for me anyway), I am going to throw caution to the wind and just go for it.
My half marathon last weekend of 1:33 when put into pace calculators gives me an estimated time of 3:15. I ran a 20 miler last month in 2:37 which is around 3:20 – 25 pace. I have put in a good block of training, and ontop of this, I am now rested and my legs aren’t running on empty.
I’m not afraid to fail tomorrow. I’m going to go out on the heels of the 3:15 pacer, and I am going to hold onto that flag for as long as possible. Traditional views of trying to negative split don’t work for me as far as I am concerned with this particular race. Yes, I could negative split off a 1:45 half marathon, but there is no way I would do a 1:30 second half!
I think for all of us, elite or not, there comes a time when you have to just accept that failing is part of success. If the worst comes tomorrow and I fade to an undignified walk home in the rain, then so be it, but what if.