Happy Saturday! I’m usually absent from the blog during the weekend, but since I don’t have a long run planned for today for the first time in forever I thought I would post since I have all this free time on my hands!
I know I promised no more marathon talk for a little while, but as it turns out I CAN’T STOP TALKING ABOUT IT!
Since learning that the total elevation gain in Portland was almost 750 feet I started wondering what the elevation profiles are for other popular marathons – luckily I found this chart on Boston.com!
(Doesn’t this make you want to run the London Marathon?!)
The day of the Portland Marathon and the first couple of days following it I thought of the elevation gain in PDX as a negative because it slowed me down and hurt quite a bit. But now I am thinking of it as a positive! This Florida girl hung in there!
Leading up to the race my coach wrote the words “surprise yourself” in my training log next to the words “Portland Marathon.”
If I had run a flatter course here in Florida I may have met my time goals but I don’t think I would have surprised myself – I think I would have done just enough to reach my easiest goal. Knowing I made it through 700+ feet of elevation gain really surprises me and is becoming a strong source of personal inspiration.
I think we can be highly motivated and inspired by outside sources, but inner motivation is what really drives us to excel in the midst of a race.
We can watch all the inspiring running documentaries we want, pin 500 motivational pictures on Pinterest, read ALL the running blogs in the world, but on race day we have to dig deep inside of ourselves to really push forward.
This ability to dig deep is something I have lacked since I started running in 2012. More often than not I have felt disappointed after a race and have no one to blame but myself.
I think I found my ability to dig deep in Portland.
Immediately following the race I thought I had mostly failed myself again, but seeing the elevation gain for the marathon has surprised me in a good way. I am now proud of myself for accomplishing something that, had I known what to expect, would have intimidated me too much to even try.
I really feel like the entire Portland Marathon experience has helped me to locate the inner motivation and confidence I couldn’t find in all of my prior races.
These feelings were too raw and new to really help me in Portland, but I think they will really help when I take on my next three half marathons during the Florida Storm Series this winter.
The only way to know for sure is to hit the starting line again – which I am beyond excited to do!
How did you find the inner motivation that allows you to dig deep and perform your best on race day? Was it always there, or did you have an a-ha moment like me?