The Pressure is Off

After running the Chilly Half-Marathon two weeks ago, panic set in about Around the Bay. The latter is a tough 30K course, with a steep uphill climb at the end. Back in January, I decided to register for this run as a means to drive up my winter mileage. I wasn’t using it as a tune-up for a spring marathon; I just wanted to run it.

My two weeks with back woes in late January/early February cut took 2 weeks out of my training, and I paid for that in the half-marathon, finishing more than 5 minutes slower than I had aimed. Sudden warm weather was also a factor but the fact is I had a bad race, and that really had an impact on me.

For days following the Chilly, I worried about how I would do in Hamilton’s 30K. I was stressed about continuing to build mileage from 13 to 18 miles in just 3 weeks and I feared injuring myself in the process. My thoughts were consuming me; it was obvious that I needed to take control again.

And I did. One night as I tossed and turned in bed, I decided that I would still run Hamilton, but I would only run 13 to 15 miles. I didn’t need to run the 30K but I didn’t want to not run it as that would be quitting. Instead, I just changed the distance to what I can do comfortably.

Now I picture myself as an elite athlete, using part of this race to train for a different one. I’ll run at a good pace and, then, I’ll stop. Like the elites who pace others for the first half of a run, I’ll be left in the middle of no-where, trying to figure out how to get back to the start/finish area. I’ll be done, satisfied with doing the task I had set out to do.

So the pressure is off. I’m excited about running again and I’m sleeping at night.

And, for the record, I won’t be left in the middle of nowhere. Daddy and the boys are going to pick me up at my predetermined finish line. Hopefully, they won’t be late or news headlines will be about some crazed runner who went off-course and ended up lost on the QEW. But she’ll be a happy runner now, won’t she?

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