Slightly Concerned About the 13.1

Stress.

Stress.

STRESS.


I’m starting to do that just a wee bit about my half marathon coming up on May 6. And I don’t usually stress about races, so this can’t be good!

This is my most unflattering, blurry, worried face I could take on my iPhone. You’re welcome.

Here is my deal: I don’t really feel prepared. At all. For many of y’all speedsters who run 100 mile weeks, I know that 13.1 isn’t that major of a deal, but it definitely is for me. As I’ve explained about a zillion times, running is hard for me. Period. Of course, that is exactly why I do it: I enjoy the challenge!

However, my preparation for the race has virtually gone right out the window. Flown the coop. Skipped town. Peaced out. Vaya con Dios. (Ok, it didn’t go with God but that was the last expression I could think of. My bad.) Needless to say, training hasn’t gone the way I had originally planned!

First of all, I had all those silly foot problems. Truly, they were annoying and not major, but they did hold me up for a little bit longer than I wanted. However, I think that situation has been solved by two amazing, amazing things: rolling my foot with an iced water bottle every night, and these wonderful shoes:

Yup. Loving the Brook Pure Cadence. Moving on.

So I solved that problem, which is great. But then I had that nightmarish run where I was an idiot and forgot my water. That was my big ol’ 7-miler. And then, this past weekend I got sick and experienced that 8-miler that never was. My track record isn’t looking so good here, my friends.

Like I said, the half isn’t until May 6. This means I have 3 more weekends to get out there and get my long runs in. As of now, I haven’t even gone over 7 miles, so I’m hoping for an 8, 9, and 10 miler before the end of the month. I think it’s doable, as long as Chicken Little doesn’t crash the sky in on my head.

In terms of goals, I’m kind of at a loss now. My last half was just over 2:30 (speedy, I know) and I’d like to do better than that. However, I’m not so sure I’m gonna spit out a specific goal time. I think I’ll just go with saying I’m going to do better, even if just by a little bit. It’s all about improvement, right?

********************
How do you deal with going into a race knowing that you’re not as prepared as you’d like to be?

Any advice for me going into the next couple of weeks?
Seriously, please? I can use allllllllll the help I can get!
Do you think it’s okay to not have a specific time goal?

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Slightly Concerned About the 13.1

Stress.

Stress.

STRESS.


I’m starting to do that just a wee bit about my half marathon coming up on May 6. And I don’t usually stress about races, so this can’t be good!

This is my most unflattering, blurry, worried face I could take on my iPhone. You’re welcome.

Here is my deal: I don’t really feel prepared. At all. For many of y’all speedsters who run 100 mile weeks, I know that 13.1 isn’t that major of a deal, but it definitely is for me. As I’ve explained about a zillion times, running is hard for me. Period. Of course, that is exactly why I do it: I enjoy the challenge!

However, my preparation for the race has virtually gone right out the window. Flown the coop. Skipped town. Peaced out. Vaya con Dios. (Ok, it didn’t go with God but that was the last expression I could think of. My bad.) Needless to say, training hasn’t gone the way I had originally planned!

First of all, I had all those silly foot problems. Truly, they were annoying and not major, but they did hold me up for a little bit longer than I wanted. However, I think that situation has been solved by two amazing, amazing things: rolling my foot with an iced water bottle every night, and these wonderful shoes:

Yup. Loving the Brook Pure Cadence. Moving on.

So I solved that problem, which is great. But then I had that nightmarish run where I was an idiot and forgot my water. That was my big ol’ 7-miler. And then, this past weekend I got sick and experienced that 8-miler that never was. My track record isn’t looking so good here, my friends.

Like I said, the half isn’t until May 6. This means I have 3 more weekends to get out there and get my long runs in. As of now, I haven’t even gone over 7 miles, so I’m hoping for an 8, 9, and 10 miler before the end of the month. I think it’s doable, as long as Chicken Little doesn’t crash the sky in on my head.

In terms of goals, I’m kind of at a loss now. My last half was just over 2:30 (speedy, I know) and I’d like to do better than that. However, I’m not so sure I’m gonna spit out a specific goal time. I think I’ll just go with saying I’m going to do better, even if just by a little bit. It’s all about improvement, right?

********************
How do you deal with going into a race knowing that you’re not as prepared as you’d like to be?

Any advice for me going into the next couple of weeks?
Seriously, please? I can use allllllllll the help I can get!
Do you think it’s okay to not have a specific time goal?
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Comments

Slightly Concerned About the 13.1 — 38 Comments

  1. I went into last weekend’s 5k without a specific time goal – I wasn’t feeling prepared and just figured I’d do better than the same course last year – I didn’t think I’d PR or anything, but an improvement over last year wasn’t too much to ask, right? I ended up PR’ing, AND placing 3rd in my division. All while wearing bunny ears. Just go out there and have fun!

  2. I completely feel your pain! I have a 25k (15.5 miles) on May 12 and I am feeling SO under prepared. My longest was 8.5 miles and I’m seriously questioning if I can do it or not. The saving grace is that I’ve run this race twice, so I know what to expect.

    Don’t lose hope! Just do your best in these last couple weeks of training.

  3. Oh my. I am with you. Unfortunately my half is the 22nd. Yikes! Due to my ankle issue and being deathly sick this past weekend my last run was LAST Wednesday. Yep, a week ago. That may require more than a “yikes”. My 11-miler didn’t happen. I am still not feeling 100% but still have my fingers crossed that I can finish my 12-miler this weekend. Like you, running is a challenge and I’m definitely not a master of it. I’m not looking to PR in my half. At this point I want a respective finish…something of the likes where I don’t die would be nice. Alright, enough of my whining. Just know, you’re not alone!

  4. You are going to be fine! Plenty of people run half marys without feeling fully prepared. Plenty of those people also run with no goal other than “to finish.”

    My biggest suggestion is try not to fit in more training than is normal. I’ve run halves and a full well under prepared and I made it to the finish without a problem. I’d say you have two more long runs and then taper that last week. When get to the race, just have fun.

  5. I think it’s fine to have a “faster than last time” vague time goal. Also, you’re allowed to just have fun since this is how you choose to spend your money and free time :)

    I’ve never felt unprepared for a race, but when I did that 10 mile race 2 weeks ago, I was very concerned about having to take a DNF. I just told myself that it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

    Advice for the next 3 weeks: Run. That should help. :P

  6. When I have to skip a weekend run, I try to do it on a weekday if at all possible. Oh, and I don’t think you should worry too much about having skipped it. I’ve busted out a couple 10 and 11 mile runs after not doing a long run for 1-3 weeks. They’re definitely not the most comfortable runs, but I just take them a little easier to make sure I can get in the distance. Plus, remember that you’re running a downhill half! Not going to make it cake, but I’m sure it’ll help you beat your last time by a decent amount :)

  7. You still have time to kick butt in this race! Seriously – dont get down on yourself, and just focus on each run at hand. You can definitely do it!

  8. You definitely still have time! I think its safe to go in wo a goal time tho and see how u feel. Since Uve done it before, u may surprised of what your body is capable on race day. Even if u don’t end up w the time u want, u can finish knowing u completed another half…which is no small feat!

  9. It is all about having fun. Most likely you are not going to win (sorry truth comes out) but you can have a great time so don’t stress out about pace goals or finish times. The big Kahuna is the R&R marathon in sept. right? So this is for fun, race practice and really a bit of a long distance speed workout. My last half I didn’t do a long run for three weeks before, longest runs were six miles and I still made it to the finish line in one piece. I didn’t PR, there were a few tougher miles towards the end, a brief thought about how I should do more long runs but in the end I crossed the finish and got a medal. You are fit, you can do it!

  10. I have definitely gone into many races unprepared bc of sickness, weekend plans, or just pure laziness. And I think your plan to do 8, 9 and 10 for the next 3 weeks is solid. However, I would caution against over training. I’ve made the mistake of trying to fit 6 weeks of training into the 2 weeks before a race, and it never works out well. Make sure you give your body time to rest and recover. And have fun with it! You’ll do great!

  11. Girl — I’m right there with you! I have a half coming up on May 6 too and my mind keeps playing tricks on me, telling me I’m not ready, I’m not ready, I’m not ready. My training hasn’t gone entirely as planned either and that is casting doubts in my mind which is NOT GOOD. I’m trying to learn to just let my body do its thing and trust that it’ll carry me across the finish. We’re in this together, right?
    PS I am not going in with a time goal (well, maybe a secret one, but I’m not sharing it). I don’t want the added pressure of a specific time and one that everyone will be waiting on me for, ya know? I’m going into this race just trying to run a really good race that leaves me happy and proud.

  12. I think it’s perfectly fine not to have a time goal–in fact, given the circumstances, I think that’s how you should play it. Now onto training–shoot for 9-10 this weekend and then maybe even push to 11 if you can the following weekend. You can do this!

  13. Still time! Work on trying to get in another long run in under your belt between now and then. Make sure you are focusing on sleeping, eating and getting rest. You don’t want to get sick or run down right now.

  14. I think you will be fine too, if you can get in some longer runs this weekend and next, and then taper that last week. If you have done 13.1 in the past, your body will remember that and you can finish. Time goal? Maybe that is unrealistic, but you will know on run day! Good luck with it. It is supposed to be fun… don’t stress.

  15. I think sometimes having too specific of a time goal leads to anxiety and can backfire. Yours is perfect. I didn’t feel as prepared as I’d like to have been for my marathon in Feb due to having bronchitis during training – life happens!

  16. ackkkk….I’m heading into the Eugene Half on Apr 29th and I’ve just come down with a nasty case of plantar fasciitis in my right foot. Poop!
    Here’s what I think about right now. It’s not the end of the world. It’s simply a race day. If I’m not able to “race” it, then I’m going to enjoy it to it’s fullest in other ways…people watching…back of the pack conversations (these are always the best stories!!) and enjoying the fact that I’m a little injured from doing something I love to do and that I’ll be able to do it again…and how fortunate I am to be able to live this life!

  17. Your situation sounds almost IDENTICAL to what I went through last summer pre-RnR Providence. Foot trouble and all.

    I say just continue to go with the flow, and do what you can. You know you’ll finish the half, you’ve done it before. It’s a race, it’s not life or death, and you’re certainly not getting paid as an athlete to run it (or are you? hehe). So go out there and just enjoy yourself.

    To go into a race without a time goal is a fabulous idea. I am running the half that should’ve been a full on May 6th, and I don’t have a goal either. Coming back from injury, I can’t put that kind of stress on myself, and neither should you.

  18. haha. love the stressed face! but not that you are stressed! sometimes what works for me when i am not prepared the way i would want to be…i just have to take the pressure off and focus on something else. like having fun…or starting out slow that i can finish strong and confident! im sure it will still be a great experience no matter what!

  19. I’ve been there before… the good news is, you still have time! As long as you can get one 10 miler in, I wouldn’t stress at all. And it’s definitely find not to have a time goal. Just enjoy yourself, and you can always crush your time goal next time. :)

  20. you are gonna kick ass. you know what your priorities are and you know how to train. even if you don’t hit the time you want at least you did it. I’m still afraid to sign up for one!

  21. You can totally do it! Even if your training isn’t where you want it to be, your so athletic and I’m sure you could go out there tomorrow and cross the finish line if you had to! However, I feel your pain, I think my pre-race jitters are starting to get worse and worse for each race. It’s an awful feeling! Good luck and get those long runs in!

  22. I am doing that half also :) . We should try to hook up at some point and say Hi and meet in real life :) .

    I can’t even tell you how many races I’ve done for which I’ve been ill-prepared, especially after coming back from my foot nightmare. Carlsbad Marathon this year had a long run of 12 miles. I just walked it at mile 21 when I just couldn’t run another step. I was okay with that, that’s just where my training was at that point. So just do what you can and use it to prep for the next race (meaning, just learn from it what you will). You’re going to do just fine, I know you will!!

  23. I’m going into a 25K this weekend not very prepared. Yes it has to do with not training, which happened due to life. (Illness, female issues, wasps living in my house…etc) but it is also a matter of knowing it’s a large crowd of ladies going and I was looking forward to spending time with them, but now I am letting my insecurities about being unprepared block me from a good time. I’m going into it as an all day adventure. A hike with friends in nature and if I stop having fun I’ll stop running. I know not everyone can have that attitude, but that’s how I approach races where I feel unprepared. Not as a race, but as an event…one I chose to do. Usually that takes enough pressure off to have more fun.

  24. I get nervous before all my races, it’s normal. Just means you still love to run and want to do well. Those are both good things. If you are concerend about milage leading up to the race, make sure not to over-due it as the race gets closer. Build a stong base and enjoy the shorter distances, especially if you are coming off injury. On race day, take one mile at a time. Dont look at all 13.1 miles. Just run mile 1 well, then run mile 2 well, and so on. Keep a consistent pace and dont be afraid to walk if you need it. It wil give you energy when you are ready. Cheers.

  25. Nice shirt! :)

    I’m signed up for a 15k (my longest race ever) in July and so far my longest run has been a little over 7 miles. I know that’s plenty of time but with two recent weeks of little to no running (traveling/sick) I feel like I’m practically starting my training again.

    I’m a slow runner but I enjoy how it’s something I can do during the week to keep me in shape for all the other activities I do (hiking, climbing, etc). Knowing I have a 15k coming up keeps me motivated and pushes me beyond what I call my ‘lazy distance’. I might slack off otherwise. That’s why I keep signing up for these things.

    And with that, I’m off on a run.

  26. I think you can do it! Even though you might not feel as prepared as you would like, you have the endurance. I’ve gone into some races under-trained and I just did the best I could (I DNF one race though because of my injuries).

    I think not having a time goal is a good idea and if you have to walk a few times there is nothing wrong with that! Just have fun!

  27. No advice but I can certainly sympathies. :) I’m running the Platte this weekend. Longest run in a longggg time was 7 miles and that was 2 weeks ago. It’s not going to be pretty and my original goal was sub 2:30 also, now I’m just hoping to finish.

  28. I had an injury that kept me from training as much as I wanted for my two half marathons last fall, and I went in telling myself there is no time goal. It’s ok if I need to walk, or to stretch. Sometimes life (um…the body) doesn’t agree with a given training plan and it’s good to be flexible! I bet if you give yourself an 8 or 9 miler before the race, you’ll feel much better about it. :) Good luck!

  29. My next half is in 10 days… TEN! And this training cycle has been anything but a training cycle, between being in a wedding, bachelorette party, and an unexpected trip overseas for a death in the family. So I’m going into thinking, ‘Okay, I’m healthy enough to do this and if I do better than the last, awesome and if not… well, I still just completed another half marathon.’

    Optimism. That’s all you can do. :)

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