Oops, I haven't posted since my Delirium recap! It's been crazy over the last few weeks with schoolwork, but I expect things to ease up a little now. Two weeks after Delirium I raced a local 5k, which didn't go too well. I went out faster than I'm used to only to be forced to stop and stretch when my calves cramped up. I ended up with a time of 22:43, although I know I should be capable of a much faster time. Once again, proof that I need to focus more on speed!
This weekend is the South Carolina 24H track race, and I am more nervous than I've ever been before race day. The race is certified, and intended to be a last chance qualifier for the national team. So although I'm one of only about 20 competitors, the quality of runner is incredible. One woman has already qualified for the team, and the rest are all capable of it on a good day. I looked them all up when I saw the entrants list, which may have been a mistake, since I'm so intimidated...then again, I always prefer to be prepared. As far as the men go, they're not my competition but it's still crazy to think I'll be running in the same race as the US 100-mile record holder!
Basically, I look at the list of women with myself included and think, "one of these things is not like the others". I don't feel as if I belong with runners of that caliber, although I'm trying to become more confident in my abilities. As always, I'm trying to just focus on my own race strategy and not worry about the other runners. It's also important to keep reminding myself that this race isn't my last opportunity. I will be running as many as 3 more certified 24-hour races in 2014, so if nothing else I hope to learn from this weekend in order to improve in future races!
I've heard it's smart to go into a race with 3 goals: one that is attainable no matter what, one that is challenging but quite possible, and one that reaches for the stars. So my goals for this weekend are: 1- reduce walking time and continue running, at least in short bursts, even at the final hours of the race. 2- cover 120+ miles to reach women's qualifying standard. and 3- beat enough of the women to be selected for the national team...since goal 3 depends on the performances of others and isn't within my control, I will add: or cover 125+ miles (which, on current results, would be sufficient to make the team). So, good, better, and best- I'll see in just a few days which of these goals will be met! And I'll keep reminding myself there's always a next time...