One More Week [Alternatively: AAAHH!!]

So it’s come to my attention that I’m just over exactly 7 days away from my half marathon.

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I’m fine, why do you ask?

But really, I’m kind of freaking out. I came back from vacation and have been hitting it HARD for the past 8 days:

  • 5.4 miles with hills
  • Rest
  • 60 mins. of cross training with strength work and biking
  • 2 miles of speedwork
  • Rest
  • 6.5 miles at race pace
  • 3 miles of speedwork
  • 50 minutes of cross training

Why am I freaking out, you ask? Well, see, a half marathon is 13.1 miles. And the most I’ve done so far is 6.5. That’s just over half of the distance I need to cover in a week.

Sure, I could blame traveling and vacation and that nasty 9-day fever/cough on my lack of real mileage, but let’s face it: I have no one to blame but myself. And since we’re all friends here, I’m gonna keep it real right now and be honest: I am fucking pissed at myself. This is an issue that I have not just with my running, but with life in general.

Here’s how it goes down: I set a goal for myself. A big, lofty goal that I think would be awesome to accomplish, like “be a professional person at work” or “run another half marathon after blowing out my knee in the last one I ran”. Whee for goal setting!

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Do! All! The Things!

I get really excited! For about 2-3 weeks, all I focus on is this goal. I wear high heels to work every day. I schedule meetings. I create a training plan and follow it rigorously. It’s all I can talk about. “I’m going to really turn it around this time! I’m going to banish all doubt from my performance as a professional at work/run this half marathon/fill in the blank with lofty goal here!”

Then, something happens. Maybe I get sick. Maybe I have to travel for work, or something family-related pops up. Whatever it is, it always sidetracks me from my “PLAN with a capital P”. I stop wearing the heels. I forget to run because I’m too stressed or busy or whatever. And before I know it, a week or two or even three has gone by, and I’m right back to pre-goal Jess. Only now, that Plan with a capital P is now in shambles and whatever goal I’ve set for myself is STILL looming. And it’s immobilizing. Plus I’ve got the sweet taste of failure in my mouth.

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Turns out, failure tastes like chocolate and potato chips and insomnia and Twizzlers all mixed together, did you know that?

So that’s about where I’m at right now. Sure, I haven’t completely FAILED with a capital F. I’ve still got a week. I’m training. I’m not giving up. I’m focusing on finishing this thing with a smile, and if that means I have to walk half of it and finish 3 hours after they close the course to avoid injury, then so be it.

But I’m not as trained as I’d like to be, and I know that I’ve never actually successfully run an entire half marathon yet, due to either the course being shortened or blowing out my knee a mile before the finish. So even though I’m going into this thinking, “Hey, 3rd time’s a charm!”, a tiny, self-hating part of me sees me bonking at mile 9 and just saying f*ck it and paying the cop at the end of the pack of runners $50 to give me a ride to the finish on the back of his motorcycle.
So all I can do is keep training, keep picturing myself crossing that finish line, running, and happy. That’s the best I can hope for I guess. Right?
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