I've already begun compiling my list of half marathon regrets, in anticipation of a failure that hasn't happened yet. Using the word "slump" for my mental state is putting it mildly I suppose. There is so much good in my life right now and I can't see past this anxiety about the uncertain future to enjoy right now.
From the get go, I knew I wouldn't be able to achieve what I truly wanted this race. During my first 26.2 at Disney, I passed a father/daughter duo running the marathon together. I chatted with them a bit, and he mentioned how she had to slow down for him. I told them both to enjoy the gift and know that slow or not, many of us would never have the same privilege.
This year, Knoxville is offering a 2 person relay - complete with family teams. Father/daughter, mother/son, siblings...I desperately wanted to participate in this relay, but have no family to run with. Both of my parents are fresh off of surgery - Daddy is just now rid of his cane, Mother is not back to her usual 30 minute walk for exercise. Jay gets bored after a half mile of running.
Before you say it, I KNOW I'm blessed to have them in my life at all. I KNOW I'm being a greedy bitch wanting more. Knowing those things, however, doesn't stop me from wanting it. From being heart broken not to have it.
Looking through the pre-race information I came across this team entry. I'm jealous of Julie, despite having never met her. Whoever she and Jack are, I hope they realize how awesome it is to be able to race together.
Another let down? Doing too well at my previous race.
Before you roll your eyes (too late? okay then just keep reading and I'll forgive you), hear me out. I didn't realize it until a week or so ago, but I've always PRed at the half marathon distance. There has always been months and different training plans separating the races, do I've PRed by default:
Oak Ridge 2009 - 2:44
Secret City 2010 - 2:26
Kingsport Haunted Half 2011 - 2:22
Mountain Man Memorial March 2012: 2:30*
Kingsport Haunted Half 2012 - 2:07
Columbia Famously Hot Half 2013 - 2:02
*This race is primarily a military rucking event.
During the event, a ROTC Cadet collapsed on the course (dying later at the hospital).
Since the roads are open on the course,
the course was impassible while emergency personnel responded.
For obvious reasons, I don't count this result, despite being my strongest half at the time.
I had no set goals for the Columbia half, save doing my best. I wanted to push hard and leave it all out there. Earlier in the year I set the sub 2 hour half goal for myself, and I wanted to push as close as possible, but I didn't actually expect to. The goal for Columbia was to see just how close I was.
Turns out, I'm so close, at mile 9 of the race I could still taste it until it started slowly slipping away. I was disappointed, but even still a 5 minute PR from last fall was nothing to be disappointed in. What does that leave me with? Knoxville is a harder course than Columbia - I have very little confidence in my ability to PR after only a month of extra training. Even less that I could sub 2.
So what am I working toward? To do my best for sure, but I'm such a numbers OCD freak I like having a set time goal to work toward. Initially I just wanted to run Knoxville as fast as Kingsport. Now I think I would be disappointed with that result.
Another issue with Knoxville (and this time of year) is the weather. Last year the sun/humidity zapped me. All my training runs had been in the cold, only for race day to be a good 20-30 degrees warmer. This year the difference won't be as noticeable (for me, given that I'll be done in 2ish hours rather than 5), but it'll still factor in.
When did I become the girl who thinks 50 is too warm? I suppose since I only stepped foot on the treadmill once in 4 months of training for this race. I'm skeerd!!
I guess the bottom line is that I've got the post race blues - 4 months of build up...for what?
How do you set goals? How do you keep from beating yourself up if you are unable to reach them?
I think I need a good cry. What's a good movie I should watch tonight to help me out?