Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Point of No Return

I'm all in. I skipped my run yesterday to rest the leg, but that didn't stop me from signing up for two races today, the Akron Marathon and the Buckeye Half Marathon. (Well, OK, I would have signed up for both races if online registration for the Buckeye Half Marathon didn't end last night. Dumbasses.)

I feel like I could have run last night. The whole day I was prepared for 8 miles at an easy pace. Then, climbing the three flights of stairs to my apartment, I felt the thereness in my right inner thigh and decided to scrap it. Maybe my body is telling me something, I thought, and maybe I should listen.

As a result of not hitting the road, I felt unusual. Off-kilter. I was used to my schedule, my ritual. Suddenly, it seemed that my running, always The Great Equalizer, had gone on holiday by mistake.

Faith Healing
Running and life have hitherto been in perfect balance during this training season. Confidence bounced from my soles with every stride. Mind and body were in harmony. Training runs reflected my race goals. Now, however, certitude has given way to doubt. This is where I need the mental strength that Michelle J wrote about Monday.

This leg pain is a test of faith.

Faith in my training plan.

Faith in my leg's healing.

Faith in my previous race experiences.

Faith in my strategy.

Faith in my perseverence.

Faith in my sheer stubbornness.

Faith in my self.

These are not leaps of faith. Logic builds a bridge to these beliefs. Though, I must see through the clouds that my anxieties have created.

For six weeks, my training plan has been perfect. My long runs built conservatively (minus one minor absurdity) and included more 20-milers than last year. My tempo runs were a more consistent pace. I included regular speedwork with specific parameters. And my rest days and back-off weeks have kept my legs strong and fresh. I even started cross training.

I have been injured before. I have been cautious. I have listened to my body. I have taken it slow. I have rested, iced, compressed and elevated. I have taken anti-inflammatories. I have stretched. These are the things that have worked before, and I believe they will work again.

My focus is on this weekend. I have run this race before. Although the race organizers have changed the course route, I still know the course terrain. Although last year's performance was my toughest race, I have learned many lessons from it. With less preparation and coming off another injury this spring, I set a new half marathon PR in Cleveland. And once this race is over, regardless of my performance, it will help me guage my preparation for the marathon.

My strategy for the half marathon is to completely ignore Martini at the start, to run my own race, to rein in my pace during the middle miles where I struggle. Until the 10-mile mark, and then I will let it go, my finishing kick carrying me to a sub-1:50:00 time.

I have never DNF-ed. I have persevered through bad weather, high temperatures, stomach issues and chafing. The pain I have felt running is not the worst pain I have felt.

Like the ass you know me to be, I am stubborn. It is not something I can control. It is simply a fact of my being. I may struggle, but I will not quit.

I have worked hard for these races. I am prepared. I will run well.


akRunner said...

Thanks for the post. My knee has been giving me issues and I have put off running for about a week, and will venture out for the first time since I felt the pain tomorrow morning... Faith is encouragement enough.

Michelle said...

Hi, i am sure you will do great, but i worry about you a bit!!! Believe me, i know what it means to be stubborn!! Read this post from my running blog:

Ok, i'm not sure what that even has to do with anything but i just thought you might like to read it!!!

Anyway, dude good luck!! I will be rooting for you!!! Faith!!!


gin hall said...
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Ian said...

Since you missed a perfect opportunity to post the video I'll do it for you right here.

I'm big on believing in the training that you've put in, you'll be fine.

S said...

you're going to do fantastic! just avoid those time draining bathroom stops :-P

Ms. V. said...

You're going to be fine. You are one of the hardest working runners around these parts.

Funny Youtube.

Steve Stenzel said...

Nice post! Good luck with the leg!

Have a great race!!

Sun Runner said...

Like the ass you know me to be, I am stubborn.

Admittedly, I only know you online, if such a thing can be called knowing a person. And as far as I can tell you are not an ass. Stubborn, perhaps, but not an ass.

I have worked hard for these races. I am prepared. I will run well.

You shall run more than well, my fellow runner. You will kick ass, and then you will reward yourself properly. And I think we all know what that means. Because this is not the Booze Hounds Inc blog for nothing.

Run really well, and drink even better.

chia said...

I have faith too Viper. You will dominate and prevail mate. Anyone willing to punt a preteen in the name of Lasso himself is seriously hero-worthy.

Bless you and the "inc." part of BHI!

Anonymous said...

Dude! That was, dare I say, inspiring. Good luck this weekend. I'll be thinking of you during another of my totally weak and unworthy 5-milers!

Marcy said...

Yeah what's up with all the inspiration? I'm not sure about all this :P

You'll be fine, I'm sure ;D

Spike said...

stubborn people are the best, and we refuse to see it any other way.

C said...
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Vava said...

You'll be great, but this post is much too suggary! Where's the wit and sarcasm? These are the tools that will lead you to the promised land of PRs and such, ass and stubornness in tow... Good luck!

C said...

I admire your perseverance. You will kick ass at the half marathon, I have absolutely no doubt. Especially since I no longer have any leg pain which I hope means you don't either.

Laura said...

My knee seems to be getting better, so hopefully your leg is too!!! Run well and then drink hard :)