After receiving a nice pep talk from the folks at my publisher (including the marketing director, whose job is to position me as an authority) and after taking Courtney’s point that it’s hard work, not dumb luck, that brought me here, I found the message driven home by a tip in Runner’s World (full article):
Remember: When you have a good day, it’s no accident. You can’t fake it; these days represent your true capacity as a runner. On the other hand, bad days are flukes. They happen to everyone, and they mean almost nothing (unless you have a lot of them, and then you need to analyze what’s going wrong). Reward yourself mentally for your good days, and don’t obsess about the bad.
This resonated for me because when Wes and I were in New York a month ago, I ran my first-ever all-out mile time trial. I’ve avoided this workout for almost a decade, afraid of what it would reveal about me. Would I be slower than I wanted to? Would I be faster? If so, what would that mean for future efforts?
Sleep-deprived, city-weary, a little hungover, I pounded out 1600 meters around the Reservoir, Wes hot on my heels. The time (adding a second for the extra few feet to make a mile) was a full :30 faster than I’d thought it would be, faster than I thought I could run if a bear were chasing me. A glimpse of capacity, a shock to me, but not faked.