switching gears

It has been over 3 months since I have done any speed work.  At all.  The last time I went to the track for a speed work session was in early April, in preparation for the Boston Marathon.

Since then…

– I ran an awesome race in Boston.  Amazing and life changing in so many ways.
– I recovered from it.
– I turned my focus to my 50 Mile race (which was not AT ALL about speed).
– I ran that (oh, what an incredible journey that was!).
– I recovered from that.
– I’ve spent the last month just running free and happy, with very little structure or expectations of myself – other than to stay in shape, remain injury free and keep a healthy balance internally.

With all of my heart, I believe this all to be VERY good.  I think it’s an important switching of gears, for both my body and for my mind, especially when it comes to the BIG PICTURE.  I have aspirations for a great marathon this fall and I want to set myself up for good things – which I believe will best be accomplished if I honor the big picture and make the necessary sacrifices and trade-offs to get there.

After all, I intend to run healthy and strong and happy for a long, long time to come (as in for all of my life), and I know that there is a time and a place for everything.  It’s not always about running faster or pushing myself to my very limits to get satisfaction out of it.

But that time is approaching again and I am getting really excited about it.

A couple of weeks ago I made it official and signed myself up for the Richmond Marathon on November 16th.  Usually MCM is my go-to fall race, but this year that race falls on my son Will’s 7th birthday.  There is no way I will not be in this house when my kid wakes up on his birthday morning!  I am crazy about birthdays and especially about my kids’ birthdays.  It’s just one of those I-won’t-budge-on-this things.  No how, no way.  Besides, I’ve always wanted to run the Richmond full – it’s a great race and the timing of it gives me a few extra weeks til I have to start training.  I’m really excited about it.

I drafted up a 16-week training plan for myself and have it kicking off on July 22.  Lately all of my easy runs have been somewhere between a 7:25-8:00 pace, which is for sure faster than they were during my last marathon training cycle.  I have fiddled around with some marathon goal pace miles every now and then (a 7:15 average pace, for a 3:10 marathon), and it has felt REALLY good to me, like totally do-able.  Even with that though, I don’t really feel like I have a solid idea of where my fitness is though because I haven’t done speed work or any real key workouts or run any races for a long, long time.

So …

This weekend I am going to put on my racing shoes (my brand new Saucony A5s!!) and line up for a local 5k.

And now I think I might throw up.  Trying to save that for after the race, but just thinking about it makes my stomach do somersaults honestly.

It is only a 5k, right?

Wrong.

Racing a 5k is HARD!  It’s a big jumble of emotions for me.  I’m excited – I love races!  I’m scared – there is no question about it, it is going to hurt.

But it is so important to me to go there.  To see where I’m at right now.  To face the pain and the dry-heaves and the “when will this be overs” and the doubts and the fears and just GO AT IT in order to get THROUGH it.

Do I have a time goal for my 5k?  Nope.  My goal for this race is to do my very best.  To put it all out on the line and be smart and race hard and take chances and test my limits to see where I’m at.  And really – when all is said and done – to be proud of whatever the result is as long as I can honestly say that I did my very best with what I’ve got.  What else really matters anyway?

Hip hip hooray, it’s almost racing day!

7 thoughts on “switching gears

  1. Just found you blog – love it! I ran Richmond last year and really liked it. I had wanted to run it again this year, but it falls two days after my due date so no racing this fall for me 🙂 I'm inspired by all your running achievements post-babies. When I start to worry that I won't be able to get back to where I was before my pregnancy it helps to see stories like yours!

  2. I hope your 5k went well over the weekend! I haven't done one on a while, but I have kind of been thinking of trying to find one. I'd love to feel the hurt and put it all out on the road.

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