Thursday, March 15, 2012

Am I Crazy or What?

So - I am in the middle of training for this year's half marathon. I was planning on doing another one this fall. I have been doing 2 races a month. Actually, last week I did my 3rd 10K and set a new PR. (Don't get too excited, I still came in 4th in my age group and still took forever!) I had another 5K planned for 2 weeks down the road. Then, a friend found an inaugural race this coming weekend. It's a 5K and a half marathon. We signed up for the 5k; and I was happy!

Then she sends me a text and asks if I want to upgrade to the half. Well, you know I just couldn't leave that thought alone. But I have only done 8 miles twice since I broke my knee cap last August. I'm trying to slowly build up and still have several weeks until the scheduled half...but we just couldn't leave it alone.. so finally she had someone flip a coin and we won a half marathon! So now we have upgraded our status to the half come Sunday...What?

I feel so ill prepared... but I oddly so excited I can't stand it. I may have to crawl across the finish line after dark to embrace my finisher's medal.. but I'm gonna do it! We have agreed to go slow and just do the distance. It will really be a great warm-up and practice run....walk...lol!

My struggle is really mental. I keep telling myself I am just running two 6.5 mile races back to back. But I am not sure I am buying it yet! lol! It just pushes the envelope enough for it to be very exciting like a new adventure. On one hand I cannot wait until Sunday - on the other I'll hold out for Monday.

Here is my motivational thought that I saw posted on Facebook this week: There will be a day when I can no longer run. Today is not that day! I just love that. It's one of those quotes that just goes inside you and supercharges you, you know? Kinda like I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. It's one of those things that you can grab hold of and use. There are a lot of scriptures like that - ones which we can use for our daily motivation. Mine for today is in Isaiah 40:28. It says Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth...does not become weary or tired.  I think I will run with Him for awhile! It's so good to know that He will never get tired of me and I will never get on His nerves...even when I start praying for strength to run a half marathon I am undertrained for! lol! 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

It's So Mental!

I just finished running my 25th race. That makes me a silver racer...lol. It just worked out to be my third 10K. Overall I have done the 3 10K's, one 5-mile run, one half marathon and 20 5K's. I think it's finally becoming second nature for me. The lifestyle of a runner is gaining on me and I have more races already scheduled. Right now I am trying to do two each month. That's as long as I can manage it.

This 10K had a very different element about it. You see about 2 weeks ago I started having some pain in my left foot. After some research I am pretty certain it is metatarsalgia. It's common to runners who are adding too many miles too fast. Yup, that's pretty much what I did. So in order to reach my half-marathon goal I have to scale back my training a little while at the same time increasing it. Sounds crazy doesn't it? Oh well - it's doable. I will spread my long runs out a little more and add shorter ones more frequently. The weird thing about this injury is that it really does not start to hurt until mile 2.5. It's almost like my foot says - "Here comes the two-and-a-half point - let her have it!"

I rested a couple of days and took some anti-inflammatory meds. But I still entered yesterday's race with quite a lot of anticipation. My 4.4 mile run on Wednesday had been so painful I don't even want to talk about it. The first turn around point was the 3K marker. I figured that was almost one-third and if the pain had started by then I could walk back. I had purchased a cushion to put under the ball of my foot but didn't get it until the day before the race so I really didn't trust it to make a difference. But I was going good at 3K so I kept going.

It wasn't too long until I saw the 5K marker and since I was half way I knew that there would be absolutely no turn around, but I was still very apprehensive about my time. However, when I got to the 7K marker I realized it had only been about 48 minutes and I had less than 2 miles to go. I started to push it a little although my foot hurt some. The pad under the ball of my foot allowed me so change my form a little and continue with very little pain. I am still slow as Moses or Christmas - but I did cut 3 minutes off my PR! That's with an injury - so I was okay with it.

It's funny how much mental work goes into racing. I always thought of the physical work but there is so much of it that has to be beat in the mind before the physical running can be pounded out. Since I have done a half-marathon any distance under that is doable to me now. I just think about how far I have run and it keeps me moving to the finish line. It's funny now that I am (slowly) getting used to longer distances how I view the 5K. It's like - it's only 3 miles! It's all about talking my mind into the run.

In life it is much the same way. What we can beat mentally - we can beat physically. This is why it is so important what we keep our minds on. When we stay focused on the problem- the problem remains in front of us. But if we can focus on the solution it will be reached eventually. Sometimes when we are facing difficult situations, the way our mind travels will dictate how we navigate through the struggle. I am finding that if I can keep positive thoughts or inspirational thoughts in front of me I can handle situations much easier and quicker. I draw my inspiration from God's word. I look at the accounts of those who have kept the faith through adverse circumstances and I figure if they could - I can too. That's how I keep running the race of life! Isaiah 26:3 says that God will keep those in perfect peace - whose minds are stayed on Him. It's all about keeping Him as our focus to help us run the race of life.

Keep running!