Friday, February 6, 2009

Pre-race Jitters

I've been slacking on the blogging lately--except for race reports--and that is because I've been slacking on the running :( Ever since the 1st half marathon, my motivation has dwindled (burn out maybe?), and then vacation, illness, and moving for nearly a month further interrupted my running. Actually, I have plenty of motivation for racing, its the in between runs that have been the problem :) Not to mention that I am a wuss when it comes to cold weather, and I've been utterly exhausted and short on time because of moving. But really, I'm just making excuses now. *sigh*

My 2nd half marathon is on Sunday 2/9, and I am freaking out. I do not feel nearly as prepared as I did for the first one (because I'm not), and I fear my knee will betray me. Even though I've done this before, I've only run this distance once--twice if you count the training run before the first race--and never alone. The most I've run since OUC was 11 miles, 3 of which I had to walk because my stupid knee starting hurting, and that was almost a month ago. I've averaged 2-3 runs per week of 2-3 miles each since. It's pathetic.

Last Sunday I ran 5 miles, barely. I ran 2 miles to Cady Way, then 3 miles there before my knee started to hurt. It still hurt the next day and I've felt slight twinges on and off since. It feels mostly fine and perhaps what I think is a twinge is now all in my head, but I have not run all week for fear of injuring it and not being able to even make it to the start line. I am sure the lack of running is contributing to my anxiety and self doubt.

I know every race is different and I can't PR at every one, but this is only my 2nd half marathon and I was hoping to at least not do worse than the first. My dad is also running this race--it is his first 1/2 marathon since he started running again--and while I do not except we will run it together, I was hoping I could at least keep him in my sights and be able to push myself a bit. At this point, however, I just want to be able to finish running and not have the knee give out on my halfway through the race making me walk several miles in pain. With that in mind, I will begin slowly with 2:1 intervals and see how it goes. If I can run the entire race this way, great! If I feel good at the halfway point, I may step it up, but I'll listen to my body and do what it says.

Perhaps what is really freaking me out is that this is my first 1/2 marathon all over again because I am running it by myself. I won't have my Galloway group to pace me and encourage me, or keep myself going by encouraging them. It is entirely up to me to make it through this. Hopefully my Garmin won't abandon me this time. The most I've ever run on my own is 5 miles. I know there will be tons of people around me and I can draw energy from the crowd, but it's still not the same. I guess I'm not mentally ready and I need to fix that asap!

Ok, so my goals for this race are:
  • Start!
  • Finish!
  • Run--not walk--across the finish line.
  • Finish in sub-2:45
  • PR--if even by 1 second--from previous time of 2:38:56
  • Finish in sub-2:35 -- this was my original goal for this race, but now I am not so sure. I'm writing it down just in case, but I'm not holding my breath.
I think I've rambled long enough (sorry! But props to you if you made it this far). Feel free to leave your advice and words of encouragement. Looks like I need them. Thanks!

PS - Oh yeah, I found out yesterday that the Marathon Relay I planned to run with the fam is already sold out. So that really bummed me out and is not helping lift my spirits to get out of this funk :(


Anonymous said...

Good luck and *LOTS* of encouragement! I completely understand about not running alone - that's how I am! And how I keep up motivation in between is... you guessed it.. join groups! Right now I'm participating in one group and coaching another one - I get 3-4 runs in per week, no matter what! I'm sure you'll find your groove again soon.

I like your progressive goal list. Here's to you surprising yourself!

Anonymous said...

Aw, I think you are going to surprise yourself this weekend.

Are you using a foam roller? If not, I highly recommend getting one as soon as possible. If it's an IT band issue it will help and if it's not, it can't hurt.

Also, to rule out runner's knee, I'd definitely try taping your patella tendon. When my knee hurts, I put the velcro strap on and the pain goes away instantly.

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