It was the night before the half marathon in Louisville when I had an email exchange with a college running coach. I was nervous and uncertain of what the race would bring. She urged me to look back over my training journal. As I glanced over the pages, I realized what I had accomplished in my training. I had gotten faster. I had gotten stronger. And I had evidence of what I was capable of doing.
While I surprised myself by running a personal best in that race, those closest to me weren’t surprised in the least. All signs pointed to a strong race. And I had the evidence I needed in my training journal.
Truth be told, I’m not a very faithful journaler of any kind. I go in spurts. Writing is the way in which I make sense of the world, through words both written and spoken, sometimes making sense but most often flowing in a strange, non-linear fashion. I rarely go back and read my journals, which is probably a shame since I’m positive there’s more evidence of personal growth than I realize while eking out my day-to-day existence.
But the last two months I’ve been pretty faithful to recording my workouts in my training journal. It’s a cool journal, too, from the company Believe I Am, filled with motivations and perspective making it much more than just a place to jot down my latest easy-paced run. And as my next half marathon creeps up on me and the gremlins start to rumble around in my brain, I look over my training journal and see evidence, hard facts, of what I’ve done and what it points to what I can do at Buffalo.
I’ve heard the mantra “trust your training” many times. But what exactly was I trusting? I have a better understanding of that now. My perspective is no longer based solely on my last workout or on some training session which I deemed a referendum on how I will perform on race day. The easy pace I’m running today? Yeah, that was my tempo pace a few months ago. That nice, steady 5-miler? Yeah, two months ago, that was considered my race pace. In the grand scheme, it doesn’t really matter what the outcome is on race day. Because I have an entire journal chronicling journey. It’s not a linear story. Nothing in my life is linear. But it is some pretty solid evidence that I’m creating something amazing, fantastic and uniquely me.