Bundle of anxiety…

Tapering for a run is never easy on the mind, and this week is no different. A flood of emotions of has been constantly stirring around my very confused head. A part of me wants to talk about it because it makes me feel better getting it out, but then the other part of me doesn’t want to talk about it because of my nerves. So what better way to try to deal than with blogging about it…

Leading up to this race, everyone has said that a half marathon should be a piece of cake especially coming off a full just a little over a month ago. However, not being convinced of that and wanting to PR, I’ve been trying to train a little bit. With some planned and some unexpected events thrown into the mix in addition to not being fully sure how to properly train for a half after just completing a full, I can’t say that I have been consistent. This of course doesn’t make me feel any better.
This week started off okay; I was able to get a longer run done on Sunday, followed by a barre class on Monday, easy run on Tuesday, short speed work on Wednesday, and another short run on Thursday. You can say the schedule sounds packed, however, none of my mileage during the week was too substantial. I will be taking off Friday and Saturday leading up to the race on Sunday morning.
As I mentioned earlier, I want to PR in this race but I am absolutely petrified about it. The last two half marathons I ran, I felt great in one and not so great in the other one but both times were within seconds of each other. A part of me is scared about the first six miles of the race which goes through the hilly full loop of Central Park. In fact, I was so scared about the hills, I made it a point to run 3-miles last night in the park just so I can get a feel for it again. I didn’t run all the way up to Harlem Hill but I did tackle Cat Hill. I know that I know Central Park like the back of my hand, I know where all the up and down hills are but I am super duper scared about starting off too fast or starting too slow and then not being able to make up the time.
The other emotion thrown into the mix is that this is the first long distance race I actually wanted to run… EVER! Yes, I wanted to run the Philadelphia and Miami marathons, but those races were kind of last minute decisions and sure, I wanted to run the NYC marathon last year but we know how that turned out. However, I started wanting to run the NYC Half two years ago when my grandmother passed away. As most of you now know my story and connection to running, my grandmother’s funeral was the weekend of the 2011 NYC Half and that is what started this wacky journey. Sure enough, two years later, I will actually have my chance at running the NYC Half.
Finally, I’ve been mentally telling myself my goal time for this race is sub-2 hours, that would be an over 5-minute PR. Realistic? Not sure. I mean anything is possible, I usually finish shorter distance races feeling like I didn’t push myself enough so it depends on how hard I can push this time. Since completing the Miami marathon, Coach Ali has been telling me it’s possible for me to run a sub-4 hour NYC marathon in November. She is hoping that I can run a 4:10 NJ marathon in May and then aim for the sub-4. I realize that none of these times are incredibly fast, but for someone who just picked up distance running less than a year ago, this freaks me out. To think last year, I was just hoping for a sub-5 NYC marathon and to achieve a sub-4 this year, I’d need to shave over 27 minutes off my Philadelphia time – that’s over a minute faster per mile! Regardless, back to the half, ideally if I can finish in sub-2, that would be put me on track for the 4:10 in NJ. No pressure, right?
If you zoom in on this picture, I’m the one with the legs
flopping in the air (ouch!)
As if all of this is not enough pressure, remember how I alluded to hurting myself snow tubing in Buffalo a couple weekends ago? Well, I did! My entire back arched backwards while airborne. My lower mid-back was in pain immediately. Since that incident, I can’t fold over forwards without feeling soreness. It hasn’t completely inhibited me from running but I feel the pain when I stretch and I need to ice immediately after a run. I’ve been going back to my chiropractor over the last couple of weeks, but I’m not sure I’m feeling an improvement. I completely realize that by running and exercising, I’m not allowing my back to heal as fast, however, I am not sure I can give up on not running and definitely not this weekend’s race. To top it off, after my appointment today, my chiropractor (who is also a runner) gave me a concerned look about running this weekend’s race. He didn’t tell me not to run, but I definitely felt like I shouldn’t be running. Good thing I’m stubborn, I guess.
Phew, that was all a mouth full. Enough rambling but I am definitely over analyzing this entire race and I really just hope I can pull it together on the course. Please think really happy and fast thoughts for me on Sunday and if you happen to be up at 7:30AM and tracking the race, my bib number is 15373.
What do you do to tackle pre-race anxieties?
P.S. I know there are a number of races this weekend and St. Patty’s Day celebrations, so good luck and enjoy everyone!

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