pRecently, I told my coach that I was a little afraid of my 10K goal. (55:00, faster then I've ever run 10k, and faster then I ever thought I'd be able to run.) Ready, but afraid. Her response was essentially that some fear is good. Allow just enough fear to keep me on my game and to use my head.
Whenever we receive advice, be it race advice, or otherwise, it's coloured by our own experience. This was no exception, because when I considered her advice, I also considered my racing history.
I have a tendency to race either cocky or safe. I've done some races where I paced beautifully, and maintained it easily throughout the race. Easily. Safe. Then there's races I've gone into and run faster then I planned to. Due to the fact that I used to be stuck in the "slow runner" mentality, I often underestimated my ability, so I got away with this tactic. Except for when I didn't. Then I crashed hard.
This time, I have a realistic goal. But, it's not a safe goal. I can do it, and to do so I have to stay on my game. No getting cocky in kilometer 2 when 5:00/km suddenly seems easy and maintainable. I need to hold myself to my pace/effort at the start, and then I need to hold onto it. If I'm feeling cocky at km 8, I'll let myself run faster. More likely it will hurt like hell to hold onto 5:30/km to hit my goal. I will hold on.
Then there's the weather. The cold weather. Predicted to be -12c (-10f) or -21c (-6f) once windchill is considered. Plus a couple inches of snow. That might change my plans. I kind of feel like karma is teaching me a lesson about all the indoor running I've done this winter. On the plus side, it hasn't been warm enough to melt anything, so it shouldn't be slippery...