Holy crap. I’m running a half marathon next weekend, one week from yesterday, six days away to be exact. I’m not sure I feel prepared for this. Considering I have yet to book a place to stay (this one is in the Upper Peninsula about six hours from home so there’s no driving up the day of), that may be a valid feeling. Running and training wise it should not be. A few weeks ago my long run was twelve miles. Last week I was short on time and only got in a nine mile run but it was a good fast (for me) nine miles. This week my long run was…wait for it…14.5 miles.
Yup, more than a half marathon.
Originally my plan was to run 13.1 this week and that would’ve been plenty, but after I finished an easy 3.4 miles on Sunday (my long run that week had been moved to Saturday due to dealing with multiple instances of dying cars and court during the week) my running app told me I was just 14.4 miles away from hitting a hundred miles in the month of September. For a few months it was my goal to run 90 miles a month and I had yet to achieve that so seeing that I was almost to 100 was super exciting. I had three days to run just over fourteen miles. No sweat! Well, only a little sweat but I should make it.
Monday I was coming off working nights all weekend then had my kids for the evening. I really wanted to run after they left but I had a test on Tuesday and there just had not been enough studying for it. Considering how poorly I had done on tests the week before I really needed to salvage some academic dignity and nail this one so studying was chosen over running. Tuesday I already had plans to go see a movie with a friend after class in the evening. I contemplated how much of an asshole I’d be if I cancelled our plans so I could go for a run but couldn’t quite bring myself to do it. She wouldn’t understand when I basically told her I was blowing her off to run. My hundred mile month just wouldn’t seem like that big of a deal to her. Non-runners just don’t get it and there was still Wednesday.
Luckily I had some free time Wednesday. I set out on a six mile trail intending to run it twice with a little extra and then see how I felt at 13.1. If I wasn’t feeling it I could still go for a light one to two mile jog that evening. 100 miles was going to happen one way or another.
Even though I wasn’t feeling especially peppy or even very good around the thirteen mile mark it still seemed easier to keep going just a little farther than to plan on running again that same day. Derg! I’m not going to lie, that last mile and a half was painful both mentally and physically. I walked quite a bit but I did resist the very strong urge to just lay down and rest beside the trail. The grass never looked so inviting as it did in that fourteenth mile. I did pull it together and run the last mile so there’s that.
Mentally I should feel pretty good about 13.1 miles next week. I’ve gotten well over the ten miles which was my longest run during last year’s half marathon training; I’m confident that I won’t hit the same block of tiredness that I did then.What I am worried about this go round is the 3 W’s. Weather Wellness and Weariness.
I came up with that during my fourteen mile run. It’s catchy right?
Weather: It’s October in Michigan. So far the weather has been great. I’ve had to grab a long sleeve tee for maybe one run but there’s been no need to break out the serious cold weather gear. However, my half is in the UP and it’s the second week of October. It could be seventy or it could be forty. Who knows. While I do enjoy running in the cold, I need some time to adjust to it. When it’s been seventy degrees (Fahrenheit) and suddenly it’s forty-five running is hard. My instinct is to wear ALL the layers. Then I’m overheating after just a few miles. I’ve been watching the forecast and will probably bring every piece of running gear I own with me…just to be safe. The morning of the race I plan to make a conscious effort not to overdress. I know some people will throw excess clothing aside during a race but I just can’t bring myself to do that. What if I didn’t get it back? I love my running gear, that would make me sad.
Wellness: Last weekend at work a whole bunch of people had yucky cough/colds. No! Stay away from me you infectious germ bags! I’ve got thirteen miles to run, you are not going to ruin this for me and please don’t make it harder than it needs to be by passing on your perfectly normal fall cold. Keep it to yourself. I’ve also been cautious about running on trails. It would really suck to get an injury now. This week I’m playing it safe and sticking to easy, familiar paved routes.
Weariness: As I mentioned last year I hit a wall of tiredness at the ten mile mark. I’m pretty sure I’ve trained enough to avoid that this year but I’m working a night shift Thursday, driving up north Friday during the day, and sleeping in a strange place Friday night before waking up much earlier than I like to run much earlier than I’d like. Tiredness may be an issue. I don’t understand Wwhy these things are always scheduled so freakin early. Just because I’m a runner doesn’t mean I want to run before 9am. Maybe if I pretend to love mornings all week I’ll have myself convinced that I’m a morning person by Saturday. You know, fake it till you make it and all that. Probably not. I’m just going to have to suck it up and deal with it. I’m sure once I’m out there and running I’ll get over the 8:30am start time.
So, just shy of one week before my second half marathon these are the (running related) things that have been on my mind. Overall I’m excited about this weekend and have really enjoyed the training leading up to it. I really have pushed myself faster abd farther than before. In just under a week all that will be paying off.