"Under". Quite the prefix. Under-water. Under-neath. Under-pressure. Under-achieve. Under-estimate. These carry with them mostly negative meanings or thoughts with them. Yet with running, especially racing, we (I) often have goals and desires to go "under" in a good way. Under 25 minutes for a 5K. Under 4 hours for a marathon.
However, also with running - maybe this is just where my head is at now - we (I) often times feel under trained, under prepared, to tackle a race or a particular run. For me this often times leads to thoughts of doubt, hesitation and a desire to not even attempt a run or race before I even start.
I kind of feel this way as I am heading into the upcoming 50k in less than 5 weeks. I wish I could have a few more weeks to train, to log more miles, to run some longer distances - I was in pretty close to my best shape ever when I ran the North Fork 50K back in late June - but due to time off with a knee injury and gaining a few too many pounds at the same time - I am not close to where I was 8 or so weeks ago.
And then there is tomorrow. The American Discovery Trail Marathon. I'm pacing for it like I did last year. I ran a very consistent race last year for the 4 hour group. Maintaining the same pace throughout and finishing in 3:59 exactly. This past week I got talked into the 3:30 pacer role. 8 minutes per mile I can do - but I have only ever gone faster than that once for a 26.2 miler. I have run this same course twice before - last years measured effort and 3 years ago when I tried to go at 8 minute pace or better and hit the wall over the past 6 miles, finishing in about 3:38 something.
No pressure this year or anything with people trying to qualify for Boston, me not having run an 8 minute mile in recent memory, me feeling like I am doomed to fail - and let people down. "Under" the gun. "Under" pressure. "Under" prepared. "Under" trained.
I should be sleeping. It is likely I won't sleep well tonight. Have to get up just after 4 am to get to the shuttle. I have no idea how I will do in the morning. I would like to think I might be able to pull it off. I also think that I don't have a chance.
Race report to come - sometime.