I'm racing the New Prague Half Marathon next Saturday and I am torn between feeling ill-prepared and, well, like a wuss that needs to suck it up and stop making excuses.
The past few weeks have been really up and down training-wise. I've had some really great workouts, like two amazing interval runs last week (yes, intervals!). Then I got hit with the Cold to End All Colds during a hellacious work-week (web redesign in full swing, 12 hour days, you know the drill). Four days, no running.
According to the McMillan Running Calculator, my 5K time from a few weeks ago puts me on track to run a sub 1:35, which was my original goal for this race. That's encouraging. Physically I think I am more than capable to run my goal time. The problem is my head.
The thing that I love- and loathe- about running is that so much of it is mental. Mental strength is so valuable in our sport- we have no team to fall back on, to carry us through tough moments. It's just us and the road. But on the days when things are just hard for no real reason, when I can't settle into a pace, when things just feel off, it's easy to become complacent and to stop pushing.
That's what I'm worried about with the Half. I already have a million reasons why this might be not a great race for me: sub-par training weeks, I've been sick, the course is hard, the weather could be bad, it might be windy... And I only have one reason why this might be the best race ever, why I might exceed the expectations I have of myself: because I want it.
So in the week before this race, I'm acknowledging that things might go bad. Hell, there's plenty of reasons for them to. But I'm also taking these seven days to focus and to train smart.
Off for a run.