Sunday, September 6, 2009

Five Weeks to Go

Like many other runners, I'm running in a Labor Day race in the morning.  I'm kind of pumped because it'll be my first ever 10K.  First ever 10K = automatic PR!  (And yes, I realize it's crazy that I've run 4 marathons and am five weeks from my fifth and I've never run a 10K. Sue me.)

I should be in bed.  It is 11pm after all.  And the alarm is set for like 5:30.

I'm not quite certain that my body has figured out that we're not in the Pacific time zone anymore.  Sure, I've been back for like a week and a half, but I find that I can't go to bed before like 1am.  Period.  And then I sleep later.  And it's this vicious cycle of me not sleeping "normal" hours, but then what's really normal anyways?  I've always been a bit of a night owl, so I wonder if maybe it's just that since I don't have a reason to HAVE to be up early, I've reverted back to my natural tendency of being awake at night.

It's crazy, too.  When I'm awake during the day, I can't say I'm doing much that's productive. Sure, there's my volunteer work.  And I am on top of my Facebook and emails, believe me.  It's not until nighttime that I start crossing serious things off my to do list.

Anyways, back to the point.  Running a race tomorrow.  Not sleepy to go to bed for it.  I realize this could be an issue, but hey... I can't say I've ever gotten more than 4-5 hours of sleep before all of my marathons where I run 26.2 miles, so surely I can handle being a little sleepy for 6.2. In all honesty, I'm running this for fun.  I like running races on holidays.  And with it being my first 10K, I'm not overly concerned about time.  And when it's all said and done, I've crossed one of my three runs for the week off the list.

This is important.  This past week kind of sucked in terms of running.  I only skipped like 6 miles worth, but that's kind of a lot since this is like the peak of my training.  Granted, it was a recovery week... but still.  I was supposed to run 10 on Thursday, and I only ran 4.  FOUR! Ridiculous, people, ridiculous!

I just wasn't feeling it.  It was hot.  I was tired.  I knew I hadn't been eating well this week (not working has seriously screwed with my food schedule... ok, so has my stay up late, sleep late thing... and so I know I'm not getting enough to eat.  I have GOT to stay on top of that these next few weeks and not forget to eat enough!).  I got in my car after calling it quits and burst into tears.

I can be pretty tender-hearted.  I tear up over the humane society commercials.  I definitely cry when I watch those shows about disabled athletes completing an Ironman or something.  But all in all, I'm a pretty tough girl.  I don't shed many tears in my running shoes.  But I was so frustrated with myself that I lost it.

So on Saturday, I set out for 15 miles with 2 good running pals.  Honestly?  I felt kind of crappy the whole time.  First I had a side stitch.  (Hello side stitch.  Where did you come from and why are you torturing me?  Seriously, I rarely get these.)  Then I felt tired.  Then I felt hot.  Then I wanted to cut back early.  Then my tummy decided it had some issues.  Then they went away. Then I worried we wouldn't get back to the bathroom fast enough.  There were walk breaks, more than I'd like, but ones that I NEEDED.  

In the end, I got the blasted 15 miles done and I called it a week.  It doesn't matter if I didn't have three awesome runs.  (Although, I still averaged a 10:30 pace for the 15-miler, walk breaks and all.  Not too bad.)  I decided to leave it out there on the path.  It's a new week.  It doesn't matter what happened last week.

And the truth of the matter is that I know I'll run a marathon on October 11.  I know I'll finish. I know I'll be happy to get that medal.  

I've had two really decent 18-milers.  I'm gearing up for my only 20-miler this weekend.  Sure, I would have preferred to do more of those, but I know that doing one will be plenty.  I have run marathons.  Plural.  I can add one more to the list.

I've made a big decision.  It's not one that I took lightly.

I'm not going to worry about a PR in Chicago.  Sure, I'd love to break my 4:31:23.  But if it doesn't happen?  That's ok.  I want to run a good race.  I want to prove to myself that a silly little injury last December is seriously old history.  I just want to get back out there and remember why I love marathons so much anyways.  I want to enjoy the experience of running one with 45,000 other people!  I want to laugh and meet people and enjoy each and every mile. I want each mile to mean something.

Does it mean I'm going to slack off? NO.  I'm still going to run with all my heart on October 11.  

Will I be ecstatic if I PR anyways? Of course.  Is it possible?  I think so.  My training puts me on course to be able to do it.

But I'm just not going to stress over it.  If it happens it happens, and if not?  Then I'll make it a goal next time.

So I'm off to run that 10K in the morning and start a new week.  I'll run my 20-miler on Saturday, even though it's still going to be hot and humid (seriously, Tennessee doesn't really see fall until like November.)  And before I know it, I'll be lining up with those 44,999 other people to run 26.2 miles in the 26th year of my life in Chicago.

I can't wait.


KAT said...

You go girl :) Just do your thang, and you'll be fine!

~Mrs. Guru~ said...

Good luck on your 10k~

Amanda said...

Hope you had a good race this morning!

Running and living said...

Hope the 10K went well.
It's very tough to train in hot and humid weather. I had horrible runs in such weather. You may be surprised at how you do in Chicago, given the (hopefully) cooler temps.

Nicole said...

I hope your race went well! We just got home like an hour ago, so i'll email you asap! Hope everything is great hun! can't wait to cross the starting line with you on Oct 11th!!!! :)

Rachel H. said...

Hope the race went well! And you'll be great in Chicago!

Alisa said...

I've never run a 10k either =).