So that half marathon reality check I mentioned in my last post?
I didn’t run it. In fact, I took four days off from running, and am now easing myself back into it.
I haven’t talked about it much (mostly just in passing), but my shin splints have been an ongoing (and annoying) problem. I’ve been able to keep them mostly at bay by regular icing and wearing compression socks. Even still, that dull ache has been a companion during a lot of runs (usually my tempo runs and speed intervals).
Last week I made i through about 1/3 of my first mile repeat before I called it quits. I was running on the treadmill and experiencing a little discomfort (nothing too bad or out of the ordinary) and suddenly my left leg (the one with shin splints) gave out and my upper body fell on the treadmill. This sounds a lot more dramatic than it really was (for all I know, I just tripped).
But it freaked me out. It made me realize that I can’t keep ignoring this problem that’s followed me around for nearly three months. The next day, I did a test run around Greenlake to see if I should bag the half marathon. The pain was still there, and mentally I had reached my breaking point and didn’t have it in me to keep pushing through it.
I decided to skip the race and take a few days off from running, something I should have done months ago. Taking time off this close to the race is not ideal and I felt pretty defeated, confident that CIM would be another 4:xx marathon.
Fortunately, not only has taking a few days off from running been good for me physically, it has done wonders for my mental state. In the first couple of days of no running, I spent a lot of time dwelling on two things: My training thus far and how this training cycle hasn’t been as smooth as I’d prefer, and how I’m looking forward to taking a break after this marathon (I feel like I’ve been in training all year).
I was thinking about the past (can’t change that) and the future (not there yet), rather than focusing on the present moment and things I can do now. Once I realized how stupid and unproductive this thinking is, I asked myself, “What can I do now to salvage the rest of this training and give myself a shot at a decent marathon?”
In addition to shifting my training around, I’m focusing my mental game on two things:
1. Focusing on the present moment and what I can do now.
2. Chilling the eff out, de-attaching myself from the end goal and realizing that no matter what happens on December 8, it’s OK.
Funny how when I go from “OMG there’s no way I can finish CIM sub 3:55” to just focusing on the training/workout I’m currently doing, training becomes a lot more fun and a lot less daunting. Weird how that works….
No matter if I finish in 3:xx or if I’m the last person to stagger across the finish line, the world will keep spinning. And even if I “fail” miserably at my goals, I’ll still have won. Because I put myself out there. Because I attempted something that five years ago I could never dream of doing. No matter what happens, I’m going to be proud of myself for finishing marathon #6.
Has my training been perfect? Nope, not even close. But December 8 is going to be an awesome, awesome day.