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Having faith

Gardiner's Creek Trail
The plan for this morning's run was an easy 15km just to work up a bit of a sweat and let my body know I am still running seriously.  I chose a course that included a good chunk of the Gardiners and Scotchmans Creek bike paths that are a favourite running haunt of mine in Melbourne.  The excellent bike paths of Melbourne set it apart from other Australian cities, except maybe for Canberra, and the network is now vast, providing endless safe and scenic running options.

As it turned out, a warm and blustery pollen-laden wind made the run quite hard, exacerbated by a right knee that was more sore than it should have been.  By the half-way mark of what turned out to be a 16.5km run, I wasn't feeling very feisty and was glad I didn't have another 34km to go.  When you're tapering you expect to start feeling good, and when you don't it can be troubling.

Gardiner's Creek Trail
I kept telling myself that I must have faith in my fitness and not worry too much about how I feel on any particular day.  I was running strongly on Sunday and there's no reason why I would have lost any form since then.  Sometimes, after a long day's travel, as I had yesterday, you can be a bit stale and lack rhythm.  The pollen and warmth could also be a factor.  I know that on race day, Sunday, I will front up, full of adrenalin and ready to go.  Today's run will be forgotten.

I also know that having faith in your preparation is key during a race.  Most of my personal best times have come in races when I was absolutely exhausted at the half-way mark and running very fast by previous standards.  In those races, I somehow maintained the pace through the second half, though it was very hard work.  Success depended on staying mentally engaged and having faith that my preparation would see me through.  Of course, the preparation is the most important factor, but success also depends on having the confidence to deploy and fully utilise that preparation.