For most of December, I followed my training plan exactly while at the same time believing there was no way I'd feel up for running Houston. I love the day-to-day training so much that this didn't seem odd to me at all, but many other people thought I was nuts for running 90+ mile weeks with workouts when I didn't know what I was training for. In the back of my mind, I am sure I wanted to keep Houston as an option, but it wasn't until December 29 that I decided I was actually going to go for it.
I then had a week of "I'm doing this" followed by a week of "I can't do this". I am so tired emotionally and mentally. I want to want to do this - I've had this goal for so long - but it's not the same anymore. It seems so trivial to drive over 20 hours round trip to run a marathon just to try for a time that would get me into another marathon with 500 other women in February. I could lament on and on, but in light of everything this all just seems dumb now. I am also sad that my Big Dream Goal now feels so trivial.
I'm in a message group for the Houston OTQ pace group, and the things the other women are saying are just what I would have said before, but now I feel like an outsider because I don't think like they do now. I have no doubt that I'm going to keep running and competing, but I just can't bring myself to care about the OTQ even a fraction of the amount I used to. Someone once told me "It's fantastic to be close enough that it's a realistic goal", and today I'm satisfied with being 68 seconds away, and with having run 5 marathons in the 2:40s.
As race day looms, I've been trying to work on believing an OTQ is in me. I've made a list of the reasons I can do it. I've looked back on my training logs for a boost. I know I'm the most fit I've ever been. But I guess what I keep landing on is that while I believe I can do it, I just don't care like I used to. Will I always regret it if I don't try? If so, is that alone reason enough to try? Will the 2024 standard be too fast to consider trying?
Also, just because I believe I can run sub-2:45 doesn't mean I believe I can do it at Houston. I have been worried that I extended my season too much and am past peak now. My January running hasn't gone as well as the previous few months, but I am also not sure how much of that is mental and how much is physical, and I always train slower in cold weather.
I have changed my mind about going to this race multiple times. I'm sure I'm driving my family crazy over it. I don't know that my explanations make any sense to anyone else; I've done all of the training and what else am I going to do this weekend, right? I know it's not rational, but it's where I'm at. Taper crazies plus grief is a very irrational combination.
Ironically, this is the second time I've used a variation of "Houston, we have a problem..." as a post title (the first is here)...
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