My Goal Race

NWM Half Washington DC 2013

I’m in!  I am running the Inaugural Nike Women’s Half-Marathon in April.  This will be my third Nike race, and I’m so excited!  This is a very popular race series, but I have been lucky enough to not have to enter the lottery for any of them (so far).  I will be running this one as part of the college program (benefits of a career change!).  

This will be my third half-marathon.  I am apprehensive about this one.  I trained hard and was so excited for my first one… then I got food poisoning.  It derailed my entire race, and I had to walk a significant portion of it to avoid major cramping.  I shook off what I felt was a bit of a failure/setback, and began training for the next year…. then I got injured.  I spent all of last summer stuck in bed, and couldn’t even begin training to WALK it until September (6 weeks before the race).  Considering how far I had come since my injury, I saw that race as a victory, despite having to walk the majority of the course.

Being injured (and recovering from injury), I started to learn how to train smarter, rather than harder.  This will be my mantra as I prepare for this goal race.  I am progressing very slowly – frustratingly slowly – as I am so afraid that I will have setbacks and not be able to race.  Following my PT’s advice, I am not running on consecutive days, and I am following a run/walk plan for now (currently at 4 minutes running/2 minutes walking).  This makes it difficult to get my pace to where it needs to be to finish the race – sub 15:00 miles – since I am not exactly a speed demon on my best day.  It is frustrating and even a little embarrassing to have such a modest time goal, but I would rather get to the starting line than try to push my speed too hard and too fast, only to end up sidelined again.

Sometimes, holding back like this is so frustrating.  But it has its benefits – I am enjoying my runs quite a bit since I’m not killing myself on every workout.  Plus, I have done enough running now to know that I just have to stick with the plan, and trust my training – I will get there.  Finishing any race, especially a longer distance race, is so satisfying.  I know that this one, after the setbacks I have already faced at this distance, will be especially sweet.

Now I just have to hope the weather holds up enough that I can stay consistent with my training!

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