Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Surprising Spring Racing Season

Whew. Finally, I am finished with my crazy spring racing season. I'm still not sure what the heck I was thinking when I signed up to run four races in the space of 6 weeks (and not just 5k races either... a half, a 10 miler, a 10k, and a 4 miler!), especially considering that my first real run after 3.5 months of complete cold turkey was on December 15th.

Things could have been disasterous. There were many days when I was full of self doubt and wondering if I would ever feel like myself again.

When I had to take off for a week at the height of my half marathon training plan (which was measley to begin with), my best hopes for the Shamrock Half were simply to cross the finish line - running. walking, or crawling, if necessary.

I waffled for hours - maybe even days - about whether or not I should sign up for the Monument Avenue 10k.

When we got chosen for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, instead of being excited, I was annoyed and stressed.

But the thing about running is that even when I am sure that what I am attempting is impossible, somehow, I achieve it. And this spring, I not only completed 4 races, but I set personal records at every one of them and turned out what I consider my best race performance ever at very race I was sure I wouldn't be able to do.

It's certainly not what I expected to happen back in January when I started my super duper beginner half marathon training plan.  To be honest, I'm not really sure how this successful spring happened. And the thing is, I don't really care to figure it out. All that I know is that I cannot express how grateful I am that I am healed and have been able to get back to what I love the most.

Now I'm going to take the month of May to rest on my laurels. In just 4 short days, Husband and I will be leaving on a jet plane for a 2-week vacation to Italy. Yes, I am taking my running shoes and a few outfits, but I don't anticipate logging high mileage while we are there. Really, I just want to go run on the Circus Maximus so I can say that I have trod where the chariots did. Otherwise, there will be lots of art, lots of food, lots of wine, and lots of relaxation (I hope).

Once we get back, I'll have two weeks until my official training for the Richmond Marathon starts. This year I opted to not be stupid/lazy and go ahead and join the Marathon Training Team, whose first group run is on June 1 -exactly one month from today. During the last two weeks of May I'll just run wherever, whenever, and however long I want to just for the joy of running.

Strangely, I am not nervous about the marathon at all. This springtime season of epic races has finally helped me regain my confidence. I'm not afraid of running 26.2 miles; I know I can do it. I'm not anxious about the training schedule; I'm looking forward to it. There is a tiny bit of nagging fear that I will break myself again, but I'm doing my best to convince myself that I'll be fine. I'm taking calcium, I'm sticking to the don't-run-two-days-in-a-row rule, I'm cross training, and I plan to employ the Run Less Run Faster method.

Basically, I'm gearing up to totally kick asphant on November 16, 2013.

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