Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Pep talk

I'm doing a half marathon this weekend.

Supposed to.

I say "doing" because I'm not sure that actual "running" will happen. But I also don't know that I'll be able to walk the whole thing.

In a nutshell, I'm worried.


I've done a half marathon before, and I jogged the whole thing, and if memory serves it wasn't a terribly painful or awful experience.

To train for that race, I got lazy at the end (worked my way up to a 9 mile run, then slacked heavily in the last few weeks of training), but for all of my training I jogged. I did the bulk of my training outside, too, which in general makes running easier. The feeling of things actually moving past you is more encouraging than watching the Food Network from your treadmill.

This time around, I've done all of my training inside.

All of it.

Except for the intense hiking I've done on occasion with Alex.

I've also done a lot of my training on an elliptical, which is like free-pass-out-of-running "running."

I have, this time around, worked my way up to an 11 mile workout, which is good.

I've done several hikes, including a very uphill 7.5 mile trail and an all-day hike through the Haleakala crater in Maui (holla!). As well as a nine mile hike on, yes, relatively flat terrain, but which took us about four hours to complete.

I was walking -- ha -- myself through all of this knowledge during last night's workout (4 miles mostly walking, sometimes jogging, finished in 59 minutes and 55 seconds). And I came to the following conclusion...ish...thing.

*I know that I can complete the distance of a half marathon. It's been a while (year and a half, almost to the week, ago), but still. I've done it. I have that bit of knowledge floating around in my subconscious muscle memory.

*In recent weeks, I have covered the distance of 11 miles, so adding on 2.1 more miles is not a big deal.

*Two months ago I hiked all day long to complete the Maui crater hike. If I have the endurance to work out for an entire day, I can work out for several hours.

*Despite my legitimate worry for this upcoming race, in general I have a good attitude when it comes to exercise. I like to do it, it pumps me up, and I have this weird, perhaps slightly masochistic thing in me that pushes me to just keep going. Maybe it's just a healthy "I like a challenge" thing, maybe I need to talk to my therapist about it. In any case, I think it will come in handy this Sunday.

*I have many tools. I have an iPod shuffle. I have Shot Bloks. A FuelBelt. Gatorade (grape!). There will be water stations on the course. Hopefully an Alex to yell funny things at me and kiss me as I pass.

*I do well in the heat. Um, it's supposed to be 91 degrees this Sunday. I presume it will be a little cooler in the morning while I'm racing, but...uh, still. But! I do really well in the heat. I'm a good sport about it, and sweating makes me feel like a bad ass.

So, in short, I think it's going to be OK. Because my final, overarching conclusion is this:

*I'm going to finish.*

That's my goal. That's my focus.

I may not beat -- or meet -- my time from my last half marathon. I may run the whole thing, I may walk the whole thing. I may do a combo. It might take me four hours. It might take me three. I might be grumpy or feel defeated.

But if I just focus on FINISHING, no matter how long it takes, then I'll be fine.

This is my new focus.

Which will hopefully make it an enjoyable experience.

I just really hope I don't get any blisters.

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