So here the secret goal from the Cox Providence Rhode Races Marathon. I tried to qualify for Boston. Epic fail. I am laughing because it was quite an epic fail. I was on BQ pace for about the first 15 miles. The technical failure of dropping my iPod and resetting my time at mile 12 really messed with my mental game plan, though. I knew my approximate paces up to that point, but I never got myself to do the mental pace calculations after that. So not only did I not BQ, I didn't PR either. Oh well. You live and learn. I knew it was a risk to try to BQ. I knew there was a very large chance it wouldn't happen. I knew I probably hadn't done the right training. I knew my foot/ankle injury could flare up. I knew that putting too much pressure on myself almost always backfires. Ultimately, it was a combination of the iPod fail and the massive quad muscle fail that did me in. Your race performance is determined by your training. You control your training. Your race performance is also determined by the way things come together on race day. You have no control over how that happens.
I decided ahead of time that I was OK with letting go my goals, in part because I wasn't sure if they were realistic and in part because of the foot/ankle issues. One by one during the race, the goals fell on the ground. Not because of my foot but because of my quads. It's always something you don't expect. And yet, the no-goals-met marathon was a success. I still finished in under 4 hours, so that is a success. I ran 2 marathons in 10 weeks, so that is a success. I wasn't fully healed from an injury, so that is a success. I missed a PR by 2 minutes, but I only missed a PR by 2 minutes on a slightly harder course with much less crowd support and on a day about 10 degrees warmer. So that is a success. I never reached a point where I wanted to quit or didn't think I'd finish, so that is a success. I hit a physical wall but not a mental one, so that is a success. I didn't get bogged down by negative thoughts, even after letting go of every goal, so that is the real success.
The moral of the story? Never underestimate the power of a positive attitude.