Some of you may know that Monday was the start of the Jewish new year. Year 5773. I don't know about you, but I think the Jewish calendar has got something right.
Maybe it's years and years of institutionalization that still makes it feel like September is the start to a new year. Even when I'm in the same job, in the same position, at the same desk, day after day. Maybe it's the change of season, the turning of the leaves, the sudden crispness in the air? Maybe it's the official kick off to race season?
Whatever the reason, I feel like making today's Wednesday Wisdom about a 'new year's' resolution.
My resolution for the 'new' running year is to get faster.
You all know that I'm aiming to run a sub-2-hour half marathon in October.
Last week, when I had my marathon-runchat-afternoon with fellow bloggers Liz and Laura, we talked about confidence. I never really connected running and confidence. To me, it's always been a question of ability and, clearly, I am not the most able runner. Why else would I continuously fail to reach my race goals?
Because I lack in confidence.
Running confidence means that you believe in yourself and in your ability to push harder, to stay uncomfortable for longer and to make it through your distance.
You've put in all the training, you clocked up the miles, you've done the pace, now it's time to make all the hard work pay off and get through it.
Coincidentally, I've just seen this happen on two separate occasions. The first was during Sunday's Chariots of Fire . I knew I had to run for only 1.7 miles. I pushed past my comfort level (and sore legs!) and I maintained the first mile at an 8-minute pace. Sure, it didn't feel great. But I knew that I didn't have far to go. Yesterday, Anna and I met for a speed session in lieu of our cancelled RC. We did a mile warm-up before starting two 1-mile laps around the green. We had wanted to do them at race pace, but as soon as we set off we were going much faster, about a minute per mile too fast. I thought I'd let Anna know and slow us down, but I didn't. It was only a mile. And we did it. We ran our first mile lap at a solid minute faster than race pace. Because we knew we could.
Yes, running faster is about putting in the training, about having faster sessions, about intervals and tempo. But it's also about having the confidence in yourself that you can do it. And this time, we will!
So my new year's running resolution is to do just that. To be more confident. To trust my legs to get me through. To trust my body to carry me over that finish line.
To run that sub-2-hour half marathon.
Happy new year to you all!
Do you lack confidence in your running? How have you dealt with it in the past?