Hello, I’m doing that thing where I suddenly change gears and talk about my half marathon training for a second. The Chicago half marathon is coming up (only 12 days, whaaat?) and I’m getting really excited for it, but also preemptively nervous. I’ve mentioned this before, but I really really really want to PR this half marathon and finish in under 2 hours.
I know that isn’t anything record-breaking or even an overly impressive time, it’s around a 9-minute-mile pace. But it would be impressive for me personally, and great incentive to keep setting and working toward running goals (and other general life goals, as well.) So that’s where my nervousness is coming from, because I know how hard I can be on myself when I fail. I’m trying to overcome that this last couple weeks by reminding myself that I signed up for this because it’s fun, and I enjoy running, not because I’m the fastest runner in the world.
I ran my 12-miler last Saturday and felt really great about it, both during the run and after when I figured out my pace and exact route. Last week leading up to the long run, I actually hardly ran at all. For whatever reason, my body was just exhausted during the first run of the week on Tuesday, and I had to walk before I even hit the fifteen minute mark, which (understandably) made me nervous.
Normally, I might force myself through the exhaustion and just keep going so that my weekly miles were consistent, even if the pace was much slower. This time I just stopped. I did a tiny bit of cross training stuff but otherwise I just focused on stretching and reading and sleeping and generally not moving much. I felt anxious and kind of restless the whole time leading up to my 12 miles on Saturday, but I immediately realized that taking the time off was a good call once I started that long run, which was a huge relief and made the whole run feel easier.
It was sunny and nice outside, not too windy, and I was running a completely new route which always makes longer runs more fun. Parts of it took place on a trail, and a lot of people were out biking or walking, so that was an easy and frequent distraction from feeling tired. The pace was good, I felt good during and after, and it made me that much more excited for the upcoming half.
I’m just crossing my fingers for sunny weather and no injuries. The race takes place in downtown Chicago, and the greatest part about it is the runner’s meal at the end of the race: a slice of Chicago’s famous deep dish pizza, aka a slice of heaven. My training motivation has been a sub 2-hour half marathon, but I already know my race motivation will depend solely on the pizza. Mm. ◊