Monday, March 25, 2013

Repeat after me: not the end of the world

Up until this weekend, I was having a really good “training cycle” for my upcoming 10-miler. I think I had literally missed only 1 scheduled run, and it was during a cutback week. I’d miss a cross-training session here or there, but I was getting my weekly runs in, my pace was dropping, and I felt myself getting stronger. (Oh hey, I owe you a post about what my training’s been like/what I’ve been running. Coming up this week!). 

And then my family came to visit two weekends ago, and they both got a cold shortly after leaving. And then Dan succumbed at the beginning of last week. I knew my time was near but kept hoping I could beat it. I ran normally all week, feeling every morning like I was on the brink of sickness (slight ache in the throat, etc.), but nothing too bad. Finally on Friday I started feeling actually sick and woke up Saturday definitely not feeling good. Ignoring logic, I spent some time trying to convince myself I was fine and strapped my sneakers on, ready to bust out my long run. 

I felt like I was running really hard for the first mile or so. “Oh, must be like 10:30 pace at least, let me check my phone to confirm, then I can pull back.” I looked at my phone and saw 11:10. Which is not a bad pace at all--but not one I normally feel like is a “tough” pace these days, especially only a few miles into the run (especially since I had a decent downhill in the first mile!). So I finally admitted I was probably coming down with something and turned around, finishing out only 3 miles as opposed to the 10.5 on the docket. I took yesterday completely off as well, finishing out what was going to be my peak week with 13 miles, instead of the planned 23.5. 

I feel way more panicky about this than I have any right to. I know I can finish the 10-miler (I’ve done two 10 mile runs so far, and a bunch of close-to-10 milers as well). I know it is better that I got sick now two weeks out from the race, as opposed to right before race day. I know that I won’t lose all my endurance in a week and can probably squeeze in one more long run next weekend to give myself a mental boost. And most of all, I know it is just one race and that no matter how the race goes, it doesn't really matter in the scheme of life.

But it still feels like all this training was for naught because I wasn’t able to peak when I needed to peak and that I won’t be in the best condition possible on race day and that I'll embarrass myself in front of everyone when I can't finish. You can say it: I'm nuts.

Luckily, it is only a cold--after the first day or two, it is just more annoying than anything else. I took an OTC decongestant today just to stop my nose from dripping every freaking second and felt well enough to try an easy run tonight. I did 4 miles on the treadmill (DC weather, what is going on??) at a comfortable pace. I didn't feel any worse afterwards, so hopefully this week I can run normally (at slightly reduced paces) and feel good going into the race next week. And even if I don't...going to try to remember that it will be okay!

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