Friday, May 2, 2014

Here We Go!

And it all comes down to this...

Training done.  I'll be tackling the 13.1 mile distance for the 5th time on Sunday morning.  Yay!

I had to pretty much stop overthinking, overanalyzing, blogging, reading every running related thing that popped up on a screen or paper, etc for a while.  I was in a terrible spot emotionally/mentally.  I think you could tell that by reading my previous posts, though.  I really think I navigated through all the Kubler-Ross phases while going through my injury and recovery process.  But, from what I've gathered I'm not the only one to ever do that, so maybe I'm not completely insane.

I had to focus on why I wanted to run, and why it was important to me to have a healthy recovery and preserve my longevity.  I got to the point where I was obsessing over numbers and times and being consumed by all the wrong things.  I took a step or three back and came to my senses.  And I realized that gee, this might just be my best race ever!

Will I have some rocket speed time and crush a HM PR?  Nope!  Not even a chance.

Then how will it be my best race ever?  Simple - while a year ago I had it "easy" while training for this race, this year I've had to overcome obstacles beyond my imagination.  I was on crutches through the beginning of January.  I had to learn to WALK right again before even thinking about running.  I wasn't run/walking (more like walk/running) until February.  I wasn't consistently running without walk breaks until the end of March.  I barely hit the 30 mpw point and I think I only did that 1 week.  Before I'd be running 5 days per week and only think I did that 2 or 3 times in the last few weeks.  Instead I mainly ran 3-4 days per week.  I skipped runs when I wasn't up for it - even long runs!  I usually follow a Hal Higdon plan to the letter, but this time I just used a rough guideline based on my previous training and gradually built up from that.  Instead of one 12 miler, I did two - both group runs that ran the half marathon course.  I did this to boost my confidence as well as test out my fitness.  Both runs went great, by the way.  In fact after the second one I was ticked off because I felt so great I wanted to stay with the group that was continuing on for 14-17 miles because I legitimately thought I had a lot of energy left in me.  Ha!

So, I didn't follow a real plan, missed runs, have hardly been running consistently for more than a month and a half but even after all that.... I will still cross that finish line on Sunday.  It might be in 1:50 something, it might be over 2 hours, I don't know.  And that really doesn't even matter.  I feel blessed and healthy and happy.  Someone made a comment to me in a fitness group I'm in after I mentioned running "only" 4 miles that day.  She said something to the tune of "wow, I'd do anything to run ONLY 4 miles".  I thought about that... heck, it was just a couple months ago 4 miles was my "long" run and I had to run/walk it.  Since this is my 5th go-round at this 13.1 distance it's at the "meh, no big deal.  I've done it before" point for me.  But how many people out there can't even fathom a half?  or a 10K or a 5K?  Right now I'm still nervous as hell over the fact that after Sunday (and a decent easy break for a few weeks, of course) I get to start training for a marathon.  A marathon!  WTH?

I guess the point I'm getting at here is this:  Forget the times.  Forget the paces.  Forget the number crunching and analyzing this vs that and him vs her.  Three words I've been repeating and will be my mantra through the summer/fall ahead RESPECT THE DISTANCE.  These miles in themselves are a hell of a journey and accomplishment.  This time around I wasn't able to just robotically follow a plan written out for me, I had to pick up my own pieces and carry my own weight and use my brain.  I got broken down physically and mentally and built myself back up again.  That alone is worth the medal at the finish line... no matter how long it takes me to get there.

Thanks for reading along... I'm sorry if I brought you down any during the last weeks and months with my crying and bitching.  I'm treating this run on Sunday as a redemption run.  Phoenix rising from the ashes and all that.  My best race yet!

For anyone interested, I'm in corral B, bib number 11795, and I'll also be lingering around the SCRR pre-race area and post race tent.  Wave, smile, say hi, or give me a good slap for being a whiner over the past couple months.  :)

I'm excited!  We're headed to the expo in around 2 hours.  Someone hold my credit card!!