Fog

Howdy. So, I am on the heels of another race; the San Francisco Half Marathon 1 week from today. The event has 3 parts actually; the full marathon and then the choice of running either the 1st half or 2nd half marathon. Last year, the race was in July and I ran the 2nd Half Marathon and had a PR of 1:5842. I was beyond ecstatic. I was so jazzed! So proud. If you follow me, you know I had been trying to get under 2 hours for the half for some time.

So. As the race was approaching this year, I signed up. I didn’t sign up with enough time to properly train for another PR and honestly, at the time I signed up, my mindset was this: “I just want to RUN THE RACE. I don’t have a serious stake in how I finish, I just want to RUN.”

And, so. I’ve pretty much “trained” with that mindset too. Last year, I specifically trained to beat 2 hours and this year, I’ve just been running without a real focus on time. And honestly, as I sit here today, one week prior to race, I realize I don’t like that mindset at all. Here’s why; it’s left me without a REAL GOAL and REAL FOCUS. While this may be ok for others, I need this. I know myself well enough to know I absolutely THRIVE with goals. They make me feel like I have purpose and actually, help keep me sane. This all came into focus during this weekend of 2 short runs.

Yesterday, I drove down to San Francisco to run near the water and along a short portion of the course along Chrissy Field. It was clear skies  where i live and about to get super hot, but as soon as i crossed into Marin, I could see the lovely morning fog hovering over the Marin headlands and into SF. It was so foggy, once I was on the Golden Gate Bridge, I could not see anything. I’ve been to the city a lot lately and this was one of the foggiest mornings in a while. Anyways… I parked at Chrissy Field and began. My legs felt ok to start, but pretty quickly, I felt their fatigue. The first 2 miles had some uphill climbs into and around the presidio. I specifically wanted to run up this portion as it is the same on race day. Complete fog and gray skies all around made for perfect running weather. I love the cool breeze on my face and the usual smell of the towering Eucalyptus trees. But, all the while, I was not entirely focused. Not the way I like to be….focused in a way that actually allows me to enjoy the run. I was feeling sluggish, crabby, not focused and ran 5 miles. I was ok with the distance, just not with the way I felt.

Then today, I went out for what I thought would be 5 or 6 and ended up running 2. Yes, 2 miles. I can honestly say I was physically not feeling great and mentally even worse. Some of all this has to do with some personal things I have going on. They are definitely weighing on me and most of the time, running can be a great respite, but I am spending so much mental energy on other personal things, I could not push through today. And, yes, this bothers me. And I do think, if I had a SPECIFIC goal, my experience might be different, almost undoubtedly so…because without a goal, it becomes WAY too easy to stop, to go slower, to not push, to essentially slack off. Because the mindset is different.

Some may read this and think, well do you have to push all the time, have goals all the time, etc….and of course, there has been and will be time for that, I’m just finding that for me, right now, a goal-less mindset is not serving me best.

So, I have to adjust. I wish I was running better, faster, but I am not. And it is not lost on me that I have the ability to run. I have deep gratitude for what I am able to do with these legs, this body. Right now, I am probably running somewhere between 2:05-2:10 finish time. I will take this week to try to figure out what I think is realistic and shoot for that. At this point, I am not sure of anything. The goal may simply be to finish the damn race.

Need to get my mind and my heart right….sometimes, it ain’t easy.

A few pics from Saturday’s run in SF:

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