I stepped outside yesterday with the intent of running about 12 hilly miles, and was promptly slapped in the face by 90 degree weather at 6 pm. I started a slow easy jog down a flat shaded path, and just kept going until it was dark, cold, and my left knee started to click. I had covered about 10 miles. Instead of my usual feeling of accomplishment I could only focus on the fact that the flat 10 miles was incredibly difficult for me to finish, yet I want to make a PR on a hilly 13.1 mile course in just 9 days.
The longer I am a runner, and the more articles in Runner's World with women mentioning going a "slow" 8 mile clip that I read, the more I feel the strain of my own limitations rather than the joy of triumph over a difficult course. It is no longer enough for me to just finish, I want to be proud of the time on my watch as I stagger to the finish line.
These feelings of inadequacy have plagued me over the past 2 weeks, and Paul's answer was to tell me that I would probably have a very slow finish time in San Francisco because of the hills and I should prepare mentally for that. I just looked at him and said... you suck at this.
Screw a slow finish time, I am going to PR next Sunday. If I have to trash my legs in the process and spend the following week in an ice bath on oxygen and a diet of sharkees and protein shakes, well that is all the better to remind me the price you pay to reach your goals. I may not reach them as fast as others, but I will reach them.