Looking back eases my mind
Ever since March and the injury during the Shamrock Half Marathon, I've been questioning myself a lot in how I prepare for events. At times in the past five months, I have felt like I should just do 5ks and 10ks and not worry about 13.1 miles ever again. Other times I have felt extremely confident.
Heading into this weekend, I keep thinking about the two weeks in July that I couldn't run very well due to my tail bone injury. After getting to 20 miles in a week before the fall, I simply could not do a long run two weeks in a row. But in the five weeks after that, I have felt the best I have felt in a long time even if I can't seem to ever lose the 5 extra pounds I want to.
To help ease my mind a bit about this weekend, I went back and looked at my training for the previous two half marathons. I added up the mileage for the 10 weeks leading up to race week so I could see how I've done this summer. In the winter of 2007, when I set my PR at the Shamrock Half, I ran 193.8 miles in the 10 weeks before, logging four 20-plus mile weeks. This year for the same race, I did much less with 139.8 miles with three 20-plus mile weeks. It's no wonder I got hurt, even if I was in good shape after marathon training at the end of 2007. So in the past 10 weeks for the Rock 'n' Roll Half, I have logged 201.6 miles, with six runs of 20 miles or more.
That really surprised me. I felt that my training in the beginning of 2007 was better than what I've done recently. I probably had better quality runs then, but getting in the extra mileage is important too. If I hadn't missed those long runs in mid-July, I would likely have 220-plus miles.
Another interesting note about miles is the fact that at about halfway through the Rock 'n' Roll Half on Sunday, I'll pass 100 miles for the month. It'll be the most miles in a month this year, and it's the first 100-plus month in almost a year.
Final pre-race thoughts
There's no question that I'd love to set a PR this weekend, but my main goal is to enjoy myself. I've said it recently, but running has become fun again and all that matters to me on Sunday is to go out there and just do what I can do. I'm not going to get flustered if my pace falls off, and I'm not going to get overly excited if I start off quicker than I plan. The weather may play a role and there's nothing I can do if it's crazy hot or if it rains. All that's left now is hitting the start button on my watch and then seeing what happens! Look for a race report sometime Monday ...