Never Disrespect The Distance

I am getting into that hyper-focused zone where all I can think about is the coming race and how almost everything else in my day to day life is only a small detail. I keep forgetting there is still a whole week to go (and then some) until Halloween.

Saturday morning, I felt overall pretty positive about going out for my 7 mile run. In my head, I kept saying “It’s only 7 miles, no big deal.” I disrespected the distance. I hate when I do that. When you are in the late stages of training for a long distance, like a half, and you are running double digits, I think you can start under-estimating those long, but still single digit mile runs. At least I do. And did on Saturday. “Only 7 miles” is still upwards of an 80 minute run for me (I hate to confess that I am really that slow, but there you have it…). Around 5 miles and before the 60 minute mark of my run on Saturday, I was in significant pain.

I managed to hobble home those last two miles, but my hopeful optimism that I was on the mend was blown away and once again, crushing doubts set in, even as I was collecting my race day singlet and forcing myself to walk without a limp in front of those coaches.

Tomorrow, I will make an appointment with my Gen. Pract. and talk to her about it. I broke a serious cardinal rule this morning and popped two small advil along with a prilosec in hopes of making it through the day without limping, but I am not willing to risk damaging my surgically-altered stomach for a little pain relief beyond what I just did. Since I saw my doctor running on Saturday morning, possibly with one of the training teams, but just as likely, individually, she might understand why it is so important to me to push on and not quit.

But I am worried. With all the resting I have been doing, I am losing my “mileage base.” I can still make these long weekend runs, but your body needs those short weekday runs to be fit and strong enough to withstand 10+ miles of punishment on Saturday morning. My goal this week is to do my weekly runs, but not go up to the 6 miles I am supposed to do on Wednesday. 3 miles tomorrow, maybe 5 on Wednesday (which will mean getting out of bed and running before dawn in the neighborhood), and 3 on Thursday. No speed workouts, no hill repeats, or anything extra.

Saturday is the dry run for the race. I need to figure out this week everything I want to use and carry on Saturday and pretend it was for race day. I know I am wearing my training team singlet (as unfashionable as I find it), but probably need to wear my long sleeved green tech shirt underneath, if the weather is below 45 degrees (I also overdress for Saturday’s run; I hate mornings that start out around 45 and quickly get above 50! Too easy to wear too much clothing!). I guess I need to settle on what pair of pants I want to run the race in. I know I am wearing my MP3 player (though its performance is getting spotty; randomly shutting off and refusing to restart for stretches of time; it isn’t young or new technology). I know I will wear my fuel belt. I didn’t find a noticeable difference in pain levels between wearing my old and beloved (and not quite completely dead) Adrenalines and the new trail version I have run in the past 5 weeks, so I will wear the newer ones, even if they are a ounce or two heavier. I know which running bra I am NOT wearing for the race (that would be the one that rubbed a blister into my chest 2 weeks ago!). Maybe I need to invest in a solid new bra for the race; all of mine are getting rather aged, even though I am careful not to put them in the dryer, the spandex definitely breaks down with time and sweat.

That’s pretty much it. I will make my final decision on Saturday or Sunday about deferring. I am still highly inclined to press on no matter what, but 12 miles on Saturday will allow me to make a truly educated decision.

The clock is ticking. I hope my family can hold up under the craziness of the next 18 days. It is always a bumpy ride as race day approaches.


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