~Shalane Falanagn on the Lindsey Hein Podcast
In February 2016, I watched the Olympic Trials in my living room and I wanted in. I looked up the qualifying standards and thought that they were ridiculously impossible.
I was training for a 3:15 at Boston that year. I didn't get it. Crash and burn. My marathons had stalled out at the 3:25-3:30 area and maybe that was what my max was.
Except that I hadn't really allowed myself to fully commit to do the work to get faster. My prep for every marathon was half-assed in some way. Either I limited myself to how many days I was running (and therefore limited mileage), or I limited myself by skipping workouts that I didn't feel like doing.
What would happen if I actually showed up...did the work? In training for Cellcom Green Bay in spring of 2017 - I found out. I could drop 14 minutes off my PR and feel good for the race. So good that I could finish and know that I could do more.
My coach said the words, "Olympic Trials" in a discussion and that brought it back to my head...."What if...."
Yeah but. I have a job. I have a family. That is a lot of time to drop.
So I put a qualifier on going for it. Let's get to a sub-3 marathon before really allowing myself to think OTQ.
I knew I could do the work - I chose the same plan that got me to Cellcom and just upped the paces. The workouts were hard...but I was finishing them. A sub-3 scared me but deep down I knew I could do it. Every hard workout this spring I was thinking of breaking 3 at the finish line and that got me through. In my gut, I wanted the OTQ but I was convincing my head that sub-3 was the ultimate goal.
Still, I was afraid to go for it on race day. Thank God for the people who texted, messaged, or told me to my face: "GO FOR IT." It took me two miles of hem hawing at the beginning of the race but I went for it...and got it. Just like I saw myself doing during all of those early morning practices.
Now I have no excuse for limiting my goal. I made myself prove that I could get here and I did it.
My mantra for 2018 was to purse the uncomfortable. I'm sure by now you've seen my godawful race photos. You can bet I was pursuing the uncomfortable in that race. In examining a lot of the stories I have been telling myself to date, I realized that I was seting goals I knew I could achieve. I don't like to fail (no matter now many "fear of failure" quotes I write down in my journal) so I set goals I can achieve. I do this in running, and I do this at my job. When I achieve these goals, they feel good...but there is always this very small voice saying, "This is not it."
So I'm jumping in. Going public with the dream that began 2 years ago. I want to run in the Olympic Trials Marathon in February 2020 in Atlanta. I am a strong believer in omens and when Atlanta won the bid for the trials, it was another sign. I lived in Atlanta during a pivotal time in my life. I went to grad school there - I met my running coach there. I have besties that still live there.
Maybe this is the goal that I don't get. I'm willing to fail. It's time to really pursue the uncomfortable...well, at least it will be in two weeks when training starts again, ha ha ha.
|Card by Emily McDowell Studio|