My first race of the year is coming up this Sunday. It will also be my first race since my marathon and the loooooooong recovery from injury. To say that I am excited would be a gross understatement. (I’m skydiving for the first time on Saturday, and I think I’m almost more excited about this race.) To be honest, I really didn’t believe I would ever recover from that ITB injury and thought that even if I did, I wouldn’t be running any races. I tried to quiet that negative voice during my rehab and recovery, but it was very, very difficult not to listen to it. And that makes the fact that I’m even able to attempt this race all the more sweet. It’s ironic (to me, at least), that this is the first running of the Skyline Half Marathon and this is my first race since of the year/since injury. For me it is symbolic of my “rebirth” and return to running. I’m not the same runner that ran the Dallas Marathon in December. I *think* I’m wiser and more mature, but that could just be my partner.
So this race that is coming up on Sunday…..
When my partner and I started running together in March, he felt that I could be ready to run this distance (6 weeks…..that was all the time we had to train), BUT as a training run. Of course, at the time, I was like – heck yes I can do it as a training run! But Crazy Jen rears her head more often than I would like to admit. I have been in a battle with Crazy Jen over how to run this race. Of course, I REALLY want to go out there and run a 2:10-2:15 (actually would prefer a sub 2, but I know that isn’t possible right now), which would be in line with my last half marathon. My partner thinks that 2:20-2:30 is more appropriate and a time that we can run without causing injury. EGO. KILL. I’ve NEVER run a half marathon slower than 2:17 and those times are messing with my brain.
The last couple of days I have been trying to focus on some things that will hopefully keep me grounded during the race. (Plus, he may tie a rope around my waist to hold me back.)
- The longest I’ve run since my injury is 10.5 miles. While this is a sufficient distance to run prior to most half marathons, I feel a bit under trained just because I know I haven’t fully built my base yet. Keeping this in the front of my mind is helping me stay focused on the fact that this is a “training” race and should be run accordingly.
- This is a marathon….not a sprint. OK, THIS isn’t a marathon, but my training is. I need to keep my focus on continuing to build my base slowly and steadily and not allow myself to get caught up in a mindset that will usher me right into another injury. Thankfully, I have a partner that doesn’t mind telling me NO when what I want to do is bad for me, or I probably would already be injured again.
- I tweaked my hamstring yesterday. So this is a new development, but possibly one that will help me stay focused on an appropriate, steady pace come race day. (OK, I’m just going to be honest….I would run lights out if my partner wasn’t pacing me.) I was helping corner a kid who was attempting to run away and I took off in a little sprint. Thankfully it only hurts when I foam roll and felt OK during this morning’s run.
- My hips are off, just a little. I haven’t been to my myofascial guy in well over a month. This is a good thing, because I haven’t really needed to go, but I can tell my hips need some TLC. Honestly, I haven’t been doing the stack exercise he gave me on a regular basis, so it is my fault. They aren’t off much, though, and I don’t expect it to cause any problems during or after the race. And the good news is that I have an appointment with him next Wednesday!
Here are my goals for this race:
- Finish strong.
- Avoid injury.
- Focus more on feel than on time. (I can’t express enough how painful it is to write that, but it is necessary.)
- Enjoy every minute!
They aren’t the most glamorous goals, but appropriate for this race, I think.
Have I ever told you how much I LOVE the sunrise??
Happy Thursday, all!