We’ve reached the point in our long runs where we’re almost at the full half marathon distance. This morning, we ran 11.5 miles. And I’ll admit right here and now that I had “those thoughts” creep into my psyche today.
You know the thoughts. “Am I ready?” and “Gosh this feels horrible, how the heck am I going to run 13.1 in less than a month?” not to mention “Crap, my achilles hurts – HOLY HECK, AM I INJURED?!”
That last one? Ya, that’s what has actually been in my head during my last few runs. It’s not ohmygodithurtssomuch pain, but my achilles is definitely knocking on the door to let me know that it isn’t happy.
Likely the culprit is tight calves; my foam rolling and use of The Stick routines have sort of been less frequent lately, and with the higher miles piling up now is when I need to use those items most especially since I naturally seem to just have tight calf muscles.
Another possibility is that I actually need to fork over the cash for some new running shoes now and stop dragging my feet on the purchase. Usually the first sign I need new runners is my knees hurt in a throbbing sort of way after a long run. It goes away after a few minutes, but that symptom started a few weeks ago.
I felt strong, for most of the run today. Definitely the last 2 miles were a struggle, and I’m sure my mile splits will show that it wasn’t just in my head. And it’s that self-doubt, that “who the heck do I think I am?” approach to running the half that I work hard at keeping out of the picture. I can run a half marathon, I know that, but there is still always that little tiny voice that wonders if this is the time that I might DNF or just have a super junk race.
You never know until race day. That’s why we train for 12, sometimes 16, weeks; we run long miles, we do hill repeats, we do speedwork, we sweat and we get up early (even during the Stanley Cup Playoffs – GO CANUCKS GO!) and we do the work. So we have a little something in our bag of tricks when we line up at the Start line, just in case “chance” comes into play and we need to pull from somewhere that few of us will see unless we let ourselves go there in training.
I’m ready – are you?