It's a good thing I didn't have any lofty goals in mind for the upcoming Jamestown half, because the road leading up to it has been a series of speed bumps.
First there was the discovery that I am apparently afflicted with exercise-induced anaphylaxis. This hasn't really affected my training at all, but it did cast a bit of a shadow over things. I will say, though (knocking on wood as I type), that I haven't had a single occurrence in several weeks, and there were even a few times that I forgot to take my Allegra before running, and I was still fine. I know it could still happen anytime, anywhere, but it's nice that it hasn't.
Next up was my flare-up of plantar fascitis. That kept me off the road for a week. A week isn't a long time, and I did plenty of cross-training, but I did miss one long run, which I'm disappointed about. I had hoped to get in at least 3 or 4 runs that were above the 10-mile mark, but as it turns out, I only managed two - a 12-miler and a 14-miler. I know that's sufficient, and I have no concerns whatsoever about finishing the race in a fairly decent time, but I don't feel quite as prepared as I had wanted to be.
Then last week, I managed to get in one easy-paced 7-miler on Tuesday morning, but the rest of the week was spent managing the pain of my horribly unpleasant abcessed tooth. Of all the things I worry about that could potentially keep me from running (injury, illness, etc.), a toothache was one of the last things I ever would have considered. But with the pain I was in, there was no way I was doing anything other than popping Advil around the clock, and thoughts of running and racing were practically nonexistent.
And then I turned the calendar over to July this morning, and realized that this race is just two weeks away! These big races always have a way of sneaking up on you.
I'm ready to run a half-marathon, and I'm excited to run a half-marathon, especially on a brand-new course, much of which looks like it will be run along the ocean.
And I'm also one of the crazy ones who's excited to run a half-marathon at 6:30 in the morning. I love my early morning runs, and in mid-July, getting out there at that hour, before the heat of the day builds to unbearable levels, is very smart.
I don't have much in mind in the way of a goal, though. I plan to run with no music, and I'm going to wear my Garmin, but I'm going to figure out how to set it so that it does not display my current pace. I want to be able to look back and see my splits after the race is over, but I want to run the race by feel and see what I can do.
Mostly, I want to enjoy it. That doesn't mean cruising along at a 9-minute pace, though. I want to enjoy working hard, but not so hard that I feel like I want to collapse - sort of like a tempo run, but a really, really long one.
And given the obstacles I've faced the last few weeks, and the number of runs I've skipped, I really have no idea what that's going to translate to in terms of pace. Coming close to my half PR would be nice, but I don't know if I'll have it in me - and it's ok if I don't. I haven't really trained for this race, so I can't expect too much.
But, the fact that I ran that PR in New Bedford, while in the midst of training for Gansett (i.e., not at all rested or refreshed - in fact, pretty burned out and exhausted), makes me think that my anti-training training program might just work in my favor.
I'll find out two weeks from now.
And in the meantime, I did finally manage to get out for a run Saturday. After not working out most of last week, I couldn't wait to get moving and work up a sweat. With the temperature in the mid-80s, that wasn't a problem at all! I pulled off nearly 8 miles at an 8:18 pace, though, despite the heat, and the PF symptoms seem to be pretty much gone.
Crossing my fingers that they don't flare up again anytime soon, because July is a busy month - two weeks after Jamestown is the Blessing, and two days after the Blessing is the Naval Station tri.
And of course in between all that are many, many beach days and outings with my three little guys, who, in the course of their first week of summer vacation, are already exhausting me. One week down, seven weeks to go. So much to do, so little time!