The Night Before

Tomorrow morning I will rise and face my first real test of 2010.  I’m running the 33rd Annual Statesman Capitol 10K at 8:45.  It will be the first significant milestone of hopefully many to come this year.

In the weeks leading up to the race I’ve been asked, and asked of myself, what is your race goal?  I’ve been hesitant to answer that question for many reasons but mainly because I just wasn’t sure either.  It was just today that I finally figured out what it is that I’m racing for.

This will be the third time I’ve run the Cap 10K.  The first time in 2007 I was just happy to finish the 10K distance in 63:54 due to a recent hamstring injury.  I skipped 2008 and then ran a nice 56:53 PR in 2009 to average a 9:09 min pace.  I remember sprinting across the finish line last year so I probably left a little bit on the course.

The simple answer would be to just try and beat my previous PR of 56:53 on the same course.  My brain is telling me to stay conservative and respect the race by not assuming that last year’s PR will was a weak effort.  In fact, I actually ran more during training last year than I have this year.  I didn’t even attempt my first run this year until February, but I was building a better foundation by hitting the weights this winter as well as cross training on the spin bike.

Is it really about the time?

After reading Born To Run I’ve taken on a different attitude about running altogether.  I want to run inspired.  I want to run for a purpose.  I want to push myself to the limit to see what exactly is possible. 

What is possible?  That *is* the question which I have to answer!  In fact, it’s the only question that matters to me.

It occurred to me this morning that I’m not going to be happy with myself unless I leave everything I have on the race course.  If that doesn’t get me a PR then so be it but at least I’ll know what I can or can’t do.  I’d rather blow out over the edge of my physical limits and fall over in pain then to finish the race with energy left to spare.  It’s about getting out of my comfort zone and seeing what I’m made of.  Nothing less will be acceptable regardless of how long it takes to cross the finish line.

It’s late and I wish I had started writing about this earlier.  There is so much I want to say but just can’t figure out how to say it quite right.  I have to get to sleep or none of this is going to matter anyway.

Wish me luck!