Friday, May 04, 2007

There's Nothing Better than the Best

After overstaying my welcome in negative doubtersville, post-Boston, I think I'm finally coming out of the trees and seeing the running forest. I am now satisfied, having done the best I could with what I had to work with, and I've learned a few valuable lessons to boot.

The first lesson I learned is that I need to trust myself and my training. I now know this because in my preparation for Boston, I really didn't have a training plan. I kind of ad hocced it all the way to the end. I knew I needed to balance long runs, marathon pace, tempo runs, and intervals, but I made up each week as I went a long more or less. I think this caused me to have less faith in my plan than I should have had.

Something else I've learned is that I can't take running too seriously. Sometime before Boston, I started doing just that, betting all my chips on achieving this or that time goal, forgetting the big picture. I think my disappointment in New Orleans, caused me to overcompensate in Boston, believing that I needed to try harder to make myself succeed. In fact, I needed to try less hard to force success and trust myself and my training that I and it would deliver success--success being running my best race, not running a precise time. If I put the stock in doing my best, then I am not so disappointed by not meeting a precise time because of things I cannot control.

Finally the most important lesson of all. It took me a while to meander here, but here it is: I can't do better than my best. In Boston, the fact is that I did the best I could do given what I had to work with. I have to trust when the time is right and the variables in place that my true fastest time will reveal itself. I now know why I keep thinking about one of my law professors when I'm reflecting on Boston. I remember going into his office and fretting about what if I were to have a bad day and tank an exam. He looked at me and smiling, he tilted his head back with a chuckle and told me, "Cream rises to the top, Salty." If I put in the work, the time, the discipline and patience, eventually the race results will reflect it.

And you know what? I ran a personal best 3:18 in Boston and it was just my second marathon. I admit it. I'm a little (ok, you got me--a lot) proud of that.

4 comments:

Joe said...

That's a great attitude and one that we can all learn from.

Jim said...

Life's way too short to fret over things you can't control. So glad you've found closure and optimism about Boston. Like I said before, all of us in Blogsville are super proud of you.

DaisyDuc said...

Sounds like Boston turned out to be one wonderful experience for you. Glad to see you have found out these valuable lessons and shared them with us!

Papa Louie said...

Congratulations on your learning experience from running Boston.
Trusting in your training is a great lesson to learn. Having hope that we will achieve our goals is what keeps us running and racing.
Run well and strong.