I mean, how could I not?
I ran it three years ago for the first time and it was the single hardest race I’ve ever done. Yet it left me wanting to go back for some more. I knew I could improve my time the next time around. It wasn’t going to be “one and done”.
My training for the race in 2016 was far from great. Sure, I tried to run ALL the hills and strength trained as best I could. But then I strained my quad in the middle of training and had to lay off running for a few weeks. And then I rolled my ankle the week before the race. On top of all that, I really had no clue what to expect from running uphill for 7.6 miles. Because let’s be honest, who does that?
This time around, I knew I wanted to feel more prepared physically and mentally to improve my time. I hired a coach to help me out since I have three big races this year – two mountain races (Washington and Loon) that I want to improve my time in and to finally race the 50k (more on that coming up!) that I’ve been contemplating for years. If you’ve followed me for any amount of time, you know I have a tendency to break myself when I’m left to my own training devices. It was time to reach out for some guidance.
This training period has been great. I’ve done more hills than ever. I’ve lifted heavier weights. Nothing hurts. I know what to expect this time around. It’s going to be hard AF. It’s going to s-u-c-k sooooo much at times (I’m looking at you, dirt road section!). I’ve been waiting for this moment for three years. I feel ready. I’m excited.
My coach asked me this week what my goals were for Mt. Washington. My first reaction was to go uber conservative: anything less than 1:55 (what I ran 3 years ago).
And then I thought about it. There it is again – fear of freakin’ failure. Seriously. Wtf. What do I have to lose? Why not shoot for the moon?
If I’ve learned one thing from all of my injuries and Boston DNF, is that every failure is an opportunity. I fall down, I get back up, I talk about it, I move on, I grow.
At first, the punch in the face from the universe makes you angry, sad, ashamed. But then you realize that it didn’t kill you. You got through it. It may have taken a few months or years, but you can now look back at it and realize that you are stronger because of it. You faced it head on and came out ok. Failure is going to happen, it’s just the way it is. But do I want to live my life not trying out of fear of failure? Hell no. And neither should you.
Shoot for the moon.
Supposedly, you are more likely to achieve your goals if you write it down and put it out into the universe. I don’t know if that is true but here’s my shoot for the moon goal: sub 1:38
It may happen. It may not. Who cares if it doesn’t? At least I tried and that’s all that matters.
In full transparency, I also have a safe goal (1:50 if all hell breaks loose) and a target goal (sub 1:45) because it’s good to have options.
I’m coming for you Mount Washington!
Linking up with Coaches Corner.