Monday, June 17, 2013

Five More Sleeps

In five sleeps, it will be time to run my third half marathon. My second half marathon was a year ago at the same race, the Seattle Rock-n-Roll half marathon. It was an awesome race, but it started a downward spiral of injury for me that I am still battling. The night after the race my knee swelled up because of my IT band, and it hasn't been the same since.

I'm nervous about this race. For so, so many reasons. I have sort of been putting this race on a pedestal for over a year and a half, and while last year I had an absolute blast with it, this year I am hard pressed to see how the joy of running it will over-shadow how difficult, physically and emotionally, it's been to get to the starting line.

And now that's it's just five sleeps away, I can say with confidence, I will be at that starting line. It was touch and go there for a while.

My friend Ray and I last year at the starting line.

It sucks to still be at a place where every single time I head out the door for a run, I am almost 100% certain that it will be the proverbial nail in my running coffin.

But when I do get out there and run? I feel strong, despite the injuries. I feel like I could be fast (for me), I feel like I could run and run forever. I am so excited to test my determination in another half marathon distance.

Part of me wants to throw every last shred of caution to the wind and really run this race. The other part of me thinks I need to be extremely cautious on this course. To not push it, especially on the hills and the sections on the interstate and the viaduct. The camber of those sections of road killed my IT band last year, and it will likely do it again this year. If I run with the same level of exertion as I did last year, will I be out of running the whole summer again, like I was last year? That can't possibly be worth the risk, but when you put me at the starting line of a race, reason goes out the window. I go out hard and end even harder, even when it hurts.

The race hadn't hurt yet at this point. It would soon.

I should know better, though. I should take it slow. I should be okay with running over 2:00 in a half marathon. Why is my pride overwhelming my common senses? I'm not really sure about that.

Starting today, which is the first day I have had any mental space to deal with it, I'm going to start figuring out the logistics of race day, and pre-race, too, of course. It's time to figure out what I'm wearing (hello, that's the most important part!), how I'm getting to the race start (probably a cab), and when I'm going to the expo (likely Thursday early afternoon), help my kiddos make their signs and gather up their noise makers, fit in my last three workouts (one session of strength, one of elliptical and one short run), and eat my carbs (Menchie's anyone?) and sleep my sleeps. THEN I will be ready to run. 

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