Fort Hill Brewery Half… or Not

Way back in November, I had a goal. I heard about an April half marathon in western Mass, a place Drew and I had been talking about going for ages. April seemed like a decent time for a half – not too hot yet, but (hopefully) not too cold. And a half seemed doable, especially that far out with lots of time to train. And having this goal race would give me motivation to get out there and train… right?


Oh, reader. Alas. For the millionth time: if you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you’d know that reacting to any kind of motivation is not my strong suit. Especially in these post-Bairn days when all roads to anywhere are paved with the best intentions, and yet….

So. What happened this time? I believe I last left you with the vague “my half marathon training is all over the place,” which it was with illnesses, ghost injuries, and suboptimal weather and running conditions. All in all, I only ever got up to 5 miles at any one time during said training. 

If I had an ironclad will I probably could have done it. I have runner friends who run while sick, while injured, and during blizzards. When the sidewalks aren’t clear they run in the road, or chug out the miles on a treadmill. And that’s great! But I think I’ve learned that that’s not me, especially lately. I love coziness, and safety, and lack of injury. 

Running these days is what keeps me sane as the Bairn embraces the madness of toddlerhood, and my sanity can’t afford injury! So when the top of my foot started giving me grief, and when my right hip started protesting, I reeled it in. I iced, I rested. I avoided slippery slush as well as the treadmill that makes my knees unhappy. 

Through it all there was a little voice in the back of my head that said “you ran the Worcester Half, with its hills and heat, while pregnant, having only ran 5ish miles in training. You can do this!” But there was also a louder voice that said “Sure, but had you injured yourself then you would have had months to recover anyway. You need running now. Plus… do you really want to slog through a half if you’re not feeling it?”

I listened to the louder voice. I emailed the race director and asked if I could drop down to the 5k distance. I figured we could still have our Western Mass vacation, and I could still run, but the shorter distance would make for a happier time for all involved… especially when I saw the forecast of upper-20s and freezing rain for race day!


It ended up being the right decision. I ran a faster 5k than I expected, I felt strong, I didn’t get injured, and Drew and the Bairn didn’t need to kill time for 2.5+ hours in gross weather. And we still had a fun weekend!

Race recap and weekend fun post coming soon…

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Worcester Running Festival Half Marathon, 19 June 2016

What: Half marathon

Where: Worcester, Massachusetts

Course Map:

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Who: Just me, with moral support from Drew

Time: 02:42:50

Splits: (according to Simon)
Mile 1: 11:21
Mile 2: 12:33
Mile 3: 13:25
Mile 4: 11:57
Mile 5: 12:12
Mile 6: 12:22
Mile 7: 12:42
Mile 8: 12:45
Mile 9: 13:16
Mile 10: 13:14
Mile 11: 12:39
Mile 12: 11:25
Mile 13: 11:18
Mile 13.1: 1:59

To read a nitty-gritty race-specific recap, check out my review on BibRave!

To read about my pre-race (mis)adventures and neuroses, check out my last post.

Quick background: This was my second half marathon, and I didn’t train properly at all. My longest training run for it was a mere 5 miles, and the farthest I’d run in 2016 was a 10K. So it’s fair to say I was a little nervous going into this race!

I was grateful that I had splurged on a hotel room close to the start, because not only did it mean extra sleep before the 7am start, but it also meant I didn’t have to suffer the porta-potty SNAFU that happened before the race. Rumor had it the porta-potty delivery man got lost on the way to the race, and there were no porta-potties on-site until right before the race started. Oops! They opened up City Hall so the runners could use the bathrooms in there, but I heard there weren’t many stalls, so the line was ridiculous. It ended up delaying the race start by 10 minutes, as the race director wanted everyone to have a chance to use the loo if they needed.

At last everyone was gathered at the start, and after Beyonce sang the national anthem (recorded, unfortunately… would have been ridiculously awesome if she had been there!) we were under way.

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Eventual winner leading the pack on the left.

It was forecast to be about 87* F (30.5 C) by 11am, so I was also grateful for the early start! It was in the low 60s at start time, and I was almost a little chilly in my minimalist kit. I wasn’t complaining!

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As usual, being goofy after crossing the start.

In addition to my run club singlet, I was rocking my Under Armour shorts that are so light and cool that they feel like they’re not even there… only without the awkward naked feeling. I love them.

I was also trying out an EnduraCool multi-cool thingie (the wicked bright orange scarf thing around my neck), which one of my Shammie friends had been raving about in recent weeks. Knowing how terrible I am in the heat, I liked the idea of having a cool thing to put against the back of my neck to keep my temp down. It was a little awkward and floppy, and the part against my skin warmed up pretty quickly, but all it took was a quick adjustment and it was cool again. Plus, when kindly locals were handing out ice along the course, it was a perfect place to store it, and kept it from melting for way longer than I expected. That was pretty sweet.

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Is that an excited smile, or a grimace-smile trying to mask my worry?

The first mile was through downtown and had a nice downhill section, and I was feeling pretty good. Mile 2 was also decent, and had some shady bits near Elm Park which were nice.

My plan going in to the race (or, at least the one I sort of came up with as I ran the first mile and realized I should have a plan) was to stop every mile to have a short walk break and a chew, and to take water at every water stop, along with another walk break. Also, I told myself it was totally okay to walk anytime I started feeling even a little bit fainty… having not trained, and knowing how hot and hilly this race would be, I knew I wouldn’t be gunning for a PR. My only goals were a) to finish, however long it took, and b) to stay conscious, even if it meant walking slowly for most of the race.

There were a good number of runners near me for the first 2.5 miles, and I was leapfrogging with several who were also run-walking. One of my worries going in was that I’d be the only run-walker and that I’d finish last, but that worry was completely unfounded. And anyway, there’s no shame in finishing last… I’ve done it before!

The feel of the race changed a bit between miles 2 and 3, when I hit The Hill. Worcester is known for its hills, and I knew going in that at least one of its famous hills would be part of the course. Thankfully the hill came early in the race… at first I was annoyed that I hit it so early, but then I tried to think about how much worse it would have been if The Hill had happened in Mile 12! Yeesh.

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Google Street View of the start of The Hill. Notice the lovely shade and an example of the giant houses that line the street!

Against my better judgment, I tried to run The Hill. Slowly, but still. Maybe it was all the hills I ended up accidentally scaling during my training runs, but it didn’t feel too bad, at least for a while. I made it maybe halfway or 2/3 of the way up before I needed to walk the rest, and that was enough to put me in front of all the runners I’d been leapfrogging. I ended up being on my own for a few miles starting at this point, which was a weird sensation. Especially when I’d come upon a turn without obvious course markers and had to cross my fingers that I was going the right way.

Luckily The Hill was shady and populated with giant, gorgeous houses that I could look at and distract myself with. And, when I got to the top, there was a small group of people with cowbells cheering me on, offering high-fives, and shouting “You’ve beaten the hill! That’s the worst part of the race!” That was awesome!

The next mile consisted of winding my way downhill through quiet, shaded neighborhoods. I liked the downhills, but it was a bit boring and lonely for that stretch. That is, until I took a walk break and a guy came out of nowhere to pass me, yelling “Pretty far from the pond, eh?” and pointing at my singlet. I was silent with confusion for a second or two, then he yelled “You’ve been pacing me this whole race so far! Keep it up!” and took off. Turns out he was the only other runner from my city in the race, and – as I found out later when I caught up with him – he does most of his running at my favorite pond path. Small world!

The next mile was pretty uneventful, except for the sparkliest water stop I’ve ever seen. There were tables on both sides of the street (this part was out-and-back, so the lead runners were starting to pass me going the other way) that were decorated with shiny streamers, and people were ringing cowbells and cheering. One lady had a giant bucket full of ice, and I took some to tuck into my EnduraCool, where they melted slowly and kept me cool for a few miles. One of the neighbors had his sprinkler going for us, too. I loved these people.

At the end of this street, just before Mile 6, we turned onto Mill Street for my least favorite stretch of the race. We ran right on Mill St. for a while, then turned around and ran the other way for a long time, then turned around and ran back. For nearly four miles we were on an endless, nearly shadeless, stretch of road that had nothing to look at along it. Well, at one point there was a pond with a little beach, but that was it. It was all woods, fields, and abandoned-looking buildings, with a few houses in the middle bit. It was bleak. Some of my slowest miles happened along this stretch, and I walked a lot. It was also open to traffic, and cars were coming awfully close to our narrow little coned-off running section. I didn’t love it.

millst

A particularly bleak stretch of Mill St., courtesy of Google Street View.

The only bright spots along this stretch were 1) the aid station that had Honey Stinger gels, and 2) my pond-runner buddy. I caught up to him early on during this stretch, when he was walking. He grinned and said “welcome back!” and we chatted for a bit as I took a welcome walk break with him. Turns out we had both missed the race last year and had taken the deferment, but then neither of us had trained beforehand, him due to injury and me due to, well, me being me. We ended up leapfrogging each other a few more times, each time shouting encouragement to each other. That definitely helped me get through the Mill St. stretch!

My chews ran out at Mile 9, and I stopped at Mile 10 to take the gel I picked up at the aid station. I’d never had a gel before – chews have always been my fuel of choice – and wow. (I know, I know… never do anything new on race day.) I should have taken it near a water stop because I almost choked on its sweetness and it made my mouth so sticky. But, it also gave me a serious kick start; once I started running again after taking it, my legs didn’t feel as tired and my energy levels definitely went up. It was like a miracle gel. Cheers, Honey Stinger!

The rest of the race from there was a repeat of earlier bits of the race, so I had an idea of the terrain and knew how many more water stops there’d be. Other than those water stops, I ran (and somehow negative-split) the last 5K. I think I just really wanted to be done running at that point!

As I got to the last .1, I kicked it as hard as I could without wanting to faint. I turned the last corner and spotted Drew, making sure to make another goofy face at him:

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Plenty of porta-potties by this point!

I have a memory of smiling big at the photographer at the finish line, but my picture says otherwise:

wrffinish1

Sigh. I made this pic small because it’s much too terrible to look at larger.

I was handed a bottle of water and a medal immediately after crossing the finish (yessss!), wandered off to some shade, and tried to stretch. My legs were so wobbly. Drew found me, and together we waited for my race buddy to cross the finish so we could cheer for him. Then I wobbled off to find a snack – there was plenty of pizza (at 10am, ugh) and a handful of bananas left, so I grabbed a banana before attempting stretching again. I also posed for a hometown pride photo:

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Wormtown represent!

…then wobbled off back to the hotel for ice cold water, a protein shake, and a much-needed shower. I had finished! And, somehow, despite the heat, the hills, and the lack of training, my finishing time was only 5 minutes slower than my other half, which was run on a cool day in October on a flat course. Not too shabby!! However, despite pulling off a surprisingly decent race, I think next time I’ll make sure I train. And… maybe no more summer halfs. I think one was good enough.

Half Marathon #2: The Build-Up

Hi there! Remember me? Apologies yet again for abandoning the blog for a bit… I know I’m overdue for a recap of the Worcester Running Festival Half (spoiler alert: I finished!!), and I have a large handful of other posts I’ve been meaning to write. It’s my same old excuse, but life and work have been crazy, leaving me not much time or mental energy to write. But a long weekend is upon us and hopefully I can get back in the swing of things!

I started drafting a race recap for the half, but found that I was rambling on a LOT about the build up and pre-race stuff. So instead of deleting it (my first instinct) or posting one honkin’ long race recap, I decided to break it in two. And so… let’s get on with the rambling, shall we?

logo_worcOnce upon a time I signed up for the Worcester Running Festival half marathon, both as a fit of hometown pride and as a goal to work toward. Then I injured my knee and grudgingly dropped to the 5k option, and then the race was postponed due to lightening. Since I was going to be out of town on the make-up day, I took the waiver they offered to run it the following year, and bumped back up to the half in expectation that I could be properly trained by then. Again, it would be a great goal to work toward.

Well, that year has come and gone, and this is my story.

As you’ll know if you’ve been reading my blog or following me on Instagram these past few weeks, I was freaking out a bit before this race because, well, I hadn’t trained properly [sad trombone]. I had only got up to 5 miles in my training runs, and the farthest I had run all year was a 10k. I was vastly unprepared.

Add to that anxiety about being under-trained the fact that the forecast for race day was upper 80s and sunny, and I was dreading things. My first and only half marathon was run in October when it was a crisp 50s with cloud cover (perfect running weather!) and I’ve run no more than 5k or so when it’s been wicked hot, so I was nervous. I don’t usually do well in the heat!

Appealing to the camerawoman for help during one of my hottest races to date

Appealing to the camerawoman for help during one of my hottest races to date

Maybe the smart thing would have been to drop to the 5k once again, or just not do it at all, but I was already registered, darn it, and I couldn’t bring myself to have yet another DNS on record, so in spite of my anxiety I was determined.

The Day Before

The race started bright and early at 7am, so I splurged and booked us a room in a hotel that’s a 5-minute walk from the starting line. I spent the first part of the day before packing and trying to make sure I remembered everything, then I accompanied Drew on a work errand before making a quick stop at my work to pick up the earbuds I had forgotten. (I’ve never listened to music during a race, but I knew I’d need all the help I could get at this race!)

Earbuds in hand, we set off westward for Worcester… only to get a good ways down the Pike before I remembered that I had forgotten – of all things – my running shoes. Seriously, how did I forget those??

I'm not cut out for this. I need my kicks! (source)

I’m not cut out for this. I need my kicks! (source)

Another detour home to grab the shoes and we were once again on our way. We managed to just get to Sneakerama in time for me to pick up my bib (anything to buy me 5 extra minutes of sleep the next morning!). I was the only one there, and got my bib, shirt, and a few coupons within a minute. I even got a friendly reminder from the race director to set an alarm for the next day.

We checked in to the hotel, and I realized that I hadn’t grabbed any breakfast for pre-race… just a Honey Stinger waffle. I felt like I could use something more substantial for a half, so we went across the street to the convenient store to pick up Honey Nut Cheerios, a protein bar, a giant bottle of water… and a pack of mini-donuts and a protein shake for post-race recovery. And Polar orange dry, because we were in Worcester and you kind of have to rock the Polar when you’re there (and anyway, orange dry is my love!)

Pre-race dinner

Pre-race dinner

We picked up some takeout pasta from a local Italian place – fettuccine primavera for me, so good! – and I spent the rest of the evening watching tv with my legs up. And hydrating. And still freaking out a little. And regretting not dropping to the 5k. And worrying that I wouldn’t sleep well (we stayed at the same hotel last year and it’s literally right across the street from a railroad crossing where trains lay on their horns all night. It’s a good time. And plus there was a wedding reception and all the rowdy guests seemed to be on our floor).

I eventually managed to fall asleep (and only got woken up once by a train, miraculously), and after a night of stress dreams about the race, was up at the crack of dawn and donning my kit and fighting back crazy pre-race nerves.

Would I make it? Would I faint on the course? Would I have to DNF? Stay tuned for part 2 to find out the answers to these and more! (Except I already told you I made it, oops!) ๐Ÿ˜‰

Do you have any rituals for the night before a big race? Certain foods you eat?

Anyone else experience race-related stress dreams?

Friday Randoms A-Go-Go

Happy Friday! I know I am looking very forward to the weekend being here, and in my excitement my brain is a bit all over the place, so today I’m going with a brain-leak-type post. With no further ado:

I ran 20.55 miles in May

monthlymileage

I know that’s not a lot, especially compared with people who’ve been training for marathons, but it was my highest mileage month so far this year, so that’s pretty cool. What’s not as cool? The random .55 miles. Why can’t I ever have nice, even numbers??

(Also, you can see how I started the year with grand ambitions of wearing Simon every day to track my steps, and then fell off the wagon pretty hard. Meh.)

Today is the start of the Euros!

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I love me a soccer/football tournament. I will be throwing my support behind England once again, even though I know they will break my heart again. #believe

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The Worcester Firefighters race is Sunday

I love this race. I ran it the past two years, and hope to run it for as long as it exists! It’s in my home city, it’s in memory of the Worcester 6, and it’s a fun community event that I look forward to every year, now that I know it exists!

I’ve been stalking the weather for Sunday (a silly and usually pointless thing to do in New England) and have been increasingly dismayed as I’ve watched the forecast go from low 60s and rainy to high 70s and windy. The race was a scorcher the past 2 years – last year I think was in the low 90s – and the midday start is a bit of a drag. Ah well, what do they say? Nothing is certain except death, taxes, and a hot WFD6K.

2014 recap
2015 recap
2015 BibRave review

…and my upcoming half marathon is only one week after the WFD6K

Let’s not think about this right now, okay? I’m too busy blocking it out and trying not to panic.

What does your weekend look like? Anyone else racing?

Will anyone else be following the Euros?

Analyzing My Run: The 3-Miler

Hello and happy weekend! ๐Ÿ˜€ The weather is absolutely gorgeous today, so it was a lovely day to get out and get some miles in.

In my last post I freaked out a little because I’ve got a half marathon coming up very quickly, and I am nowhere near prepared. For at least part of my brain, it’s tempting to use a morning like today to up my mileage so I feel even a little like I’m getting closer to half-marathon-shape. However, I am terrified of injuring myself and know that upping mileage too much too quickly is a recipe for disaster (see RW’s 10% rule).

Last week I ran 5 miles: 2 under-hydrated, post-work miles around my neighborhood, and 3 miles with the Shammies… well, 1 mile with the Shammies, in which I started much too quickly and 2 by myself after I split off to a more familiar trail and a buddy-less situation where I wouldn’t feel embarrassed if I needed to walk:

The run with the Shammies... the first mile did me in.

Run with the Shammies: the first mile did me in!

Earlier this week, Drew and I hit the lake trail for 2 slow and ankle-turn-y miles, leaving a need for 3.5 miles if I were going to follow the 10% rule. That said, I didn’t calculate how much 10% of 5 miles was until just now (and it’s a pretty easy calculation, I know… I don’t have a math brain!), and for some reason I thought it would be more than sufficient if I did 3 miles again. ยฏ\_(ใƒ„)_/ยฏ

I hopped on MapMyRun to give their Route Genius tool a go – you put in your starting address and how many miles you want to run, and it spits out a route for you to follow. If you don’t like it, you can hit the “recommend a new route” button as many times as you want. I had never used it before and had maybe too much fun hitting the button again and again to see where it would take me. (Map nerd alert!)

Anyway, armed with my fun new route, I did a quick warmup and hit the pavement. I ran the first mile, took a walk break, and then not far into the second mile began regretting not taking a walk break sooner. I had gassed myself in the first mile – yet again – and caught a few rides on the struggle bus for the rest of the run. It was near 70* (20 C) already at 8:30, and my fancy new route was not only dragging me up All. The. Hills. but it was also making me run into the sun for 75% of the time.

My head was very red and throbbing so much when I stopped that I decided to keep walking for another mile(ish) as a cool down. My splits were thus:

3miler2I need to learn how to take it easy in the first mile on these runs. Clearly.

I also had many thoughts as I ran/walked/dragged myself along, and decided it might be fun to share them. So below is the little graph of my run from Garmin Connect, featuring little asterisks that mark the highlights:

3miler11: [Simon beeps for 1 mile] Oh God, that mile seemed like an eternity. This walking break is the best thing ever.

2: Woohoo, crossed Main Street and now I have to run at least somewhat normally because there are so many cars driving by. I wish I weren’t so self-conscious.

3: Holy hill, Batman! Why didn’t I check the elevation before deciding to do this route??

4: Steep downhill that ends abruptly on a busy road with no sidewalks… yeah, I’m going to slam to a halt here.

5: [Simon beeps for 2 miles] Thank God, another mile done. Another walk break, another tissue break. Boo, pollen. Boo.

6: [Cat trots across the street toward me, so I stop to crouch and hold out a hand] “Kitty!!”
[Cat looks at my hand and possibly crazed smile and gives me a wide berth] Aww. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Bye kitty.

7: FFS another hill?!? Will I never be free?

8: [Slight dip] Ooh, the beep for 3 miles, huzzah! But I’ve got a lady with a dog immediately behind me and if I stop now that could cause a situation. Maybe I’ll try for a full 5K.
[Deep valley] Well… not a full 5K but this intersection with a stoplight is as good a place to call it as any. Right?

9: [In Dunkin Donuts, forgetting to pause Simon]

10: [One final spike] Wheeeeecrossingthestreetrealquickthankyou

The tiny bumps on the elevation chart look completely harmless, but holy mackerel… some of those hills were basically straight up. I tried running up the first one and quickly decided that all hills would be walked. So I walked quite a lot.

I felt pretty miserable for most of the run, but felt awesome once I was walking my cool-down. I spent most of that .96-of-a-mile walk thinking back and analyzing the run, and here’s what I decided:

What didn’t work:

  • Lack of hydration
    You’d think I’d get this concept by now, wouldn’t you? *sigh* I went to the pub with some coworkers yesterday, and then had some cheeky alcopops after supper. I don’t think the carton of coconut water in the middle was really enough to rehydrate me, especially as I had drunk only coffee during the day and no water. No need to say anything; I am hanging my head in shame as I type. I also only had a few sips of water before the run. No good.
  • Insufficient fueling
    It was only 3 miles, but I didn’t feel like I had much gas in my tank. I had a piece of toast with peanut butter and half a banana before the run… and intended to run about a half-hour after eating… but spent a bit longer (more like an hour) than that playing with the Route Genius. I think I either needed to run sooner, or have a more substantial breakfast.
  • Going out too fast
    This is something I know I need to work on… and if I were following GRG’s intervals plan, I’d probably be handling it better. My new gait makes me run faster, but my fitness levels aren’t quite up to the task of maintaining that pace for long. Apparently at some point I decided to do this the hard way. Maybe I should give the intervals another go…
  • Running into the sun
    I should have worn a hat. Or I should invest in sunglasses that aren’t so cheap so that I don’t squint constantly even when I’m wearing them. I was squinty and hot and red and throbbing and that made the run feel endless.

What did work:

  • Motivation tactics
    -Drew had an early soccer game, so I made myself get up with him at the crack of dawn, even though I wanted to stay in bed. The peer pressure helped get me going.
    -I need coffee in the morning, and so told myself that I could have Dunkies as a reward for finishing the run. I picked a route that would end near a Dunkies for that purpose, and the dangling carrot definitely helped.
  • Taking a long cool-down walk and stretching
    I usually don’t do much of a cool-down… maybe a few yards of walking, but that’s generally it. And my relationship with stretching has been all over the place. But I walked nearly a mile to cool down, and then took the time to stretch properly, and my body feels great – no niggles to speak of. I must remember this in the future when I just want to sit down after a run!

Usually running a new route helps as well, since I can distract myself with new things to look at. That definitely helped my little neighborhood 2-miler last week; I took a detour through a new development that’s being built, and distracted myself so well by gawking at all the giant houses that I didn’t even realize I was running low-9:00s/high-8:00s. However, today I was so red and throbby and thirsty and angry at hills that I hardly looked around.

The good thing about all the hills, I suppose, is that the half I’m doing in less than a month (!) is supposed to be pretty hilly. Might as well get used to dealing with them sooner rather than later, eh?

I guess my all-over-the-place brain has exhausted the analyses for this run. Thanks for sticking with me, if you did, and if you didn’t, I don’t blame you ๐Ÿ˜‰ Stay tuned for more run analyses as I try to distract my still-panicky brain before the half marathon!

Do you like to switch it up with new routes, or do you tend to stick to the tried and true?

How’s your weekend going? Are you racing?

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?

Knee Update and a Deferment

Happy Wednesday, readers!

It’s been just over 6 weeks since I saw an ortho for my dodgy knee, and 6 weeks to the day since I started PT for said dodgy knee. Surprisingly, those 6 weeks have flown by! If you had told me back then that I’d be not really running for 6 weeks, I would have been devastated. Now that I’m on the other side of it, it didn’t really feel all that bad… though it did help that May seemed to disappear almost before it had even started! (Seriously, where is this year going?!)

Anyway, I revisited the ortho on Monday for a follow-up. He poked at my knee a bit, said it’s nowhere near as swollen as it was when he first saw me, and then jerked my leg around like he had at our first meeting. It’s a bit disconcerting when he does it… it feels like my kneecap will shoot straight off my leg and bounce around the room… but once again he said that my ACL, MCL, and LCL all feel nice and strong, and that nothing scary is happening with my knee. Which is good news!

The slight twinges I’ve been feeling in the last week or so are normal, apparently, as my knee condition can either cause or be caused by tendonitis in the knee, in a cruel version of chicken-or-egg. The ortho also said that you can’t really cure patellofemoral syndrome (aka Runner’s Knee), but you can take measures to stop it and prevent it. He reiterated that it was likely caused because my quads, hamstrings, and glutes are all weak, and that strengthening those muscles will help keep my knees in line.

If only I were good about strength training… *sheepish face* I really need to get better at making sure I do this, because these constant injuries are maddening! Acccountibilibuddies, please keep me in line! ๐Ÿ™‚

wrfIn other news, the Worcester Running Festival, which got rained out this past weekend, has been rescheduled for this coming weekend. Just like I called it, I will not be able to take part. Boo. However, the race director is offering free deferment to any runners that can’t make it this weekend, so now I’m already signed up for next year’s half marathon! Fingers crossed that I’ll be uninjured this time next year so I can finally run this thing!

How’s your week going?

Have you ever had to defer a race? How did it work out?