Is It Time to Panic Yet?

Back when I was giddily running races all the time pretty often, I kept my “milestone countdown” widgets on my blog sidebar (over there on the right –>) updated pretty well. Once I started riding the DNS Struggle Bus last year, it started getting embarrassing so I just kind of quietly wiped it off the face of my blog, never to be talked about again.

Well, readers, today I went for my second run in a week (crazy, I know!), and decided it was about time to restart the countdowns. After all, I’ve got a big half marathon looming on the horizon, so I thought it would be a good motivator for me to see the days ticking down. So I filled out the widget info, refreshed the page, and then promptly did this:

I’m no longer Beaker-tweaking quite as badly, but I’m still tripping lightly in the Valley of Oh-Crap.

I have a half marathon in a month. Less than a month, actually. And I’ve run three (3) times in the past month, for a whopping total of 11.2 miles. I am grossly under-prepared!

Because I’m me, of course I have excuses. My ribs flared up, travel got in the way of my training, I was trying to be good and follow the baby steps of my GRG’s intervals plan, etc. etc. I had good intentions of following a plan while simultaneously acing my GetFit exercise requirements, but, as you know, those intentions went to hell in a hand-basket. Or some other mixed metaphor.

All that aside, I’m now gazing at this logo and sighing away:

This race and I already have a bit of a checkered past. I signed up for last year’s race, wanting to prove to myself that I could actually follow a training plan, and wanting to see how much better I could run a half if I did actually follow a training plan. Then my knee went wonky, and I grudgingly dropped down to the 5K distance. Then the race got rained out, and I was offered a free entry into this year’s. Since the 2016 race was a full year away, I was confident that I’d be well trained for it.

And we all know how well that’s gone.

I realized about 2 miles into my 3-mile run today that maybe it would have been a good idea to talk to my GRG about this upcoming half, and work with her on a smart plan for it. Why didn’t I? Maybe I was sheepishly embarrassed to tell her I had a half coming up, given that I was basically just relearning how to run. Maybe mid-June still seemed like lightyears away back in early March. I don’t know.

What I’m left with is a vague idea that I’ll just sort of hobble my way through 13.1 miles and hope for the best. I’m sure there will be a lot of walking (especially because the course is hilly and it’s bound to be a hot day), and I’m hoping that there’s no time limit. I’m also hoping that hobbling my way through 13.1 miles won’t result in injury… cue Beaker-tweaking once again.

I’ve got 4 weeks between today and race day to get myself into some sort of semblance of some sort of half-marathon shape, without overdoing it. I bluffed my way through a 10K a few weeks back and managed to do okay (no injuries to speak of and a miraculous PR)… does that mean I’ll be able to bluff my way through more than double that in a month’s time, providing that I can up my mileage to more than 3 by then? Or is a half marathon totally beyond the realm of what can be bluffed? Part of me thinks “eh, this race was technically free… sitting it out wouldn’t be the end of the world.” But part of me wants to just go for it anyway. Hmm.

What would you do – bluff your way through the race or DNS and set your sights on another race further out?

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6 thoughts on “Is It Time to Panic Yet?

  1. It’s a tricky one… If you don’t mind walking, you could try doing run walk intervals. If you train using a set ratio with regular breaks (e.g. 3 min run/ 1 min walk) rather than running until you ‘need’ a break, you can build up distance pretty quickly and reduce the risk of injuring yourself in the process. That being said, if it doesn’t feel right, it’s not worth risking another injury and there’s no shame in a DNS.

    • I think that’s what I’m leaning toward… run/walking, that is, and hopefully I can remember to do it smartly, and not just walk when I’m dead from running πŸ™‚ That said, I think I’ll see how I feel closer to the day, because you’re right – it’s not worth injury!

  2. Oh, that’s a tough one. I’ve bluffed my way through a few too many races. I am not sure what I would do. I tend to make the wrong choices so I will try not to give advice! πŸ™‚ Run- walking could be could compromise though. See what your GRG says and then decide based on how you feel.

    • Good call. My GRG will probably roll her eyes so hard at me when I tell her I have a half marathon a week after my next appointment πŸ˜‰

  3. Ooo that’s a toughie. I say play the next few weeks by ear before making any decisions. See how you’re feeling and how far you get. Take it easy, and be nice to yourself. I don’t want you to end up getting hurt yet again!

    • Very wise! I’m definitely going to play it by ear. If I need to DNS, it’ll be less painful than usual since the race was kind of free. I don’t want to be hurt yet again, either! πŸ™‚

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