Run Without Regrets

Under a sky vibrant with immensely bright stars, Riley and I headed out this morning for a short run around the neighborhood and I couldn’t help but notice the unbelievably clear it was. Along the way, I had quite a few thoughts flash through my mind as I continued to deal with the one question nagging me the past 7 weeks.

Riley at the lake

What’s the best way for me to race the Chicago Marathon on Sunday?

Training has been a rollercoaster through good workouts, injury, trips to the doctor’s office and some pretty long days in the office. I”ve been more tired than usual the past few weeks. Somehow, with a lot of people coming down with flu bugs and other illnesses, I’ve managed to stay healthy.

A few steps into the run and I felt electric. The best I’ve felt since before severely injuring my lower abdomen. My thoughts flashed back to yesterday’s chiropractor visit when Steve told me: “Your body is ready. Now you just need to worry about the other 90 percent,” as he pointed to his head.

After Riley and I finished up our 3-mile jaunt, I headed inside to finish packing the last of my gear and items for this morning’s flight to Chicago. Then the answer came to that nagging question: Go out aggressive and push for a personal best. If I blow up, so be it. If I hold back and play it safe, I’ll always wonder whether I could have done better. I’m going to run this one without regrets.

It means I still need to be smart, going out a little slower than goal pace and picking it up from there. But that slower starting pace will still be faster than the past several marathons. With 7 marathons under my belt, I’ll rely on experience to finish, if need be. But without going for my best would be unacceptable. It would be disappointing. It would mean living with the regret of holding back and not seeing what I’m capable of doing. And while I still plan to let the run come to me, I might just surprise myself. And there’s only one way to find out.

2 Responses

  1. My best races have resulted from a strategy of going out conservative for the first half and then laying everything out on the table in the second half. I think passing people in the second half is a real confidence booster. I am sure with the amout of miles you have been putting in you will have no problem finishing at or below your PR no matter what race strategy you choose to go with.

    1. Thanks Craig – great advice. I’m still planning to go out a little conservative, just a little faster than in the past. My last race was tactically perfect – at least for me – so if I’m going to improve on that time, I will probably need to go a little faster at the start and hope for perfect weather. Best of luck in your running!

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