This is my 2nd go at this beautiful course. In 2016 I ran my personal best half here, a 1:30. In 2014 I ran the full Victoria marathon.
I was still an emerging runner back then. Every race was a victory for me, in my own mind anyway. But by 2017 I was struggling to find my running identity. I wasn't a full marathoner or, god forbid, an ultramarathoner, like my training partners. No, the half is my game, and I want to play.
The problem is no one respects the half marathoners. If I hear "just the half" one more time I swear I'm going to strangle that person. It is "just" as a significant accomplishment in every way.
That helped lead me to struggle to keep my own perceptions of myself as a bad ass runner against endurance kings and younger phenoms led me to overtrain in 2017. But in 2018 I'm back. I eliminated whatever pre-conceived notions I had. And I'm back. Winning races. Challenging bests. Kicking ass. Old guy kicking ass.
I still feel like I'm on the verge of really emerging as my best as a runner, and am really, really, really looking forward to 2019. But as I approach the last race of 2018, I feel zero pressure. Though I have a time goal, I really don't care. I have truly enjoyed the journey to this point. That truly has been the reward. Race day is going to be a fantastic day. A day to celebrate my running season.
But it is another day on the journey to achieving my running best. And that day is not next weekend. It is many more weeks, months, maybe even years away. It is a journey I am so looking forward to!