i’m a 32 year old woman, peer pressure probably should be out of my vocabulary. but, the desire to please, impress, befriend and fit in lingers.
in thinking about the marathon this sunday, i’ve been doing a lot of check-in’s with my head and my body. and it has got me reminding myself over and over not to ‘give in to pressure’.
don’t start your race too fast
don’t walk around a ton the day before, even if your friends want to
ask for what you need
don’t be ashamed for being nervous and excited
run your own race.
during the Paris marathon, and the week leading up to it (this past spring), i really couldn’t manage any of the above. in fact i:
- drank a bunch of wine with the guy i was dating because i still wanted to ‘be fun’. i remember he kept asking me “are you sure you want to drink this week? we don’t have to go out til after your race if you prefer” and i brushed it off. because i was ‘having it all’
- drank a bunch of wine with my friend at dinner because i was ‘allowed! i put in all this hard work, this is party week!’- to an extent, i guess it’s true, you train your ass off for three months, marathon week is sort of when your hard work pays off. but, probably best not to sabotage it a few days early.
- ran a 5k race the day before the marathon. now this was really stupid. my friend tom flew out to Paris with me, for which i was endlessly grateful, but also i spent a great deal of time on the trip worrying that he wouldn’t have enough fun because i was in race mode. as part of this, i signed up with him to run a 5k the day before the marathon. not only did i run the 5k, i raced it. this is not smart! my legs were sore the next morning, and i had 26.2 miles to run…
- walked around all day the day before the marathon. i’m a born and raised new yorker. i probably walk 6 miles a day just to function, so i didn’t think much of the execration the day before- but in retrospect, it was insane. in an attempt to fight jet lag we didn’t sleep on arrival and spent the day walking around and sight seeing. i remember standing, very cold, for over an hour waiting to get to the top of the eiffel tower. i should have been on a couch, watching a movie.
- didn’t ask to eat something simple the night before the race. and didn’t ask that we have an early dinner. restaurants in paris don’t serve food at 5pm. but i could have picked something up at a grocery store. but again, to ‘be easy’ i met friends for dinner, and we walked around for hours, finally sitting down to an elaborate meal at 8pm. wine. dairy. an unfamiliar sauce. what was i doing?
it’s stupid to backtrack. but this time i will not do any of the above. in chicago i’m staying with a friend who is also running. and she gets it. she’s run 5 marathons. she’s already asked what i want from the grocery store, and asked if a light jog on saturday sounds good. we’ve been texting back and forth all week, about stretches, oatmeal, new sneakers, beet juice- things ‘normal’ people really don’t get pumped over. i am in good hands.
just last night i ran with NBR, a 5 mile run, which i intended to run with the slower pace group, but, being me, an idiot, i ran with the 8:20 group. i don’t know if it’s a pride thing? or what. but i need to get it together. my slow runs have to be slow. and it’s not like i was impressing anyone. at one point a woman running next to me, also running chicago asked what my time goal was. when i told her, she said, ‘oh, nice! i’m shooting for 3:10’. this is a full hour faster than me. i need to just check myself, and remember that everyone’s goals are different, and that no one is going to remember me for ‘being the girl who kept pace the week before her marathon’. who cares!?
ok. I’m don’t beating myself up now.