New to the blog? Wednesday is a day that, like Saturday to my people, I reserve for reflection. This week, I am running for the finish line.
Not that finish line though (and definitely not with that seriously ugly grimace).
In a lot of ways, it feels as though just getting to this much-anticipated race — to the Philly Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon on September 16th — will be like crossing a finish line in itself.
When I signed up for the race, I was beyond stoked. Delicious fall air; a new, rumored-to-be flat course; a partner in crime (as I’ll be running the race with my cousin, Dori). What’s not to love about everything represented by this mid-September event?
As I began to train, everything was coming up Stacy. One awesome run turned into another, including an impromptu 11-miler by Noah’s side on a lovely weekend morning. I felt like I was on top of the world. I felt like I could run forever, everyday, every second.
That’s when I naturally got injured.
Half-marathon training is, in my opinion, one of the best distances to train for (long-but-not-too-long weekend runs followed by bigass boozy brunches? yes, please!). And the fact that I had crushed 11 miles around the tip of Manhattan — at a somewhat comparable pace as my 6’1 manfriend — instilled me with a sense of confidence like never before.
Whereas the first time I trained for a half marathon (not much longer than a year ago) I felt nervous and unsure, after 3 halves (including one in blizzard-like conditions and another with an additional 2 miles and on a wretchedly sunny day), I felt that I was going in to the Philly Rock ‘n’ Roll Half with an incredibly satisfying sense of confidence. I was ready to go out there and have the best time ever only moments after I had clicked “submit” on the sign-up page. I wanted to glitter, and I wanted to do so by my cousin’s side wearing something ridiculously neon.
While this injury has sucked all of the fun out of half marathon training, I must admit, I also know that this entire ordeal is simply another hurdle in, what I hope, is a lifetime of running to come. I thought I’d cruise through the training process without having so much as to think about when to run how far and how fast; instead, thinking is all I’ve done.
With less than 2 weeks to go until the Philly Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon — my 4th one to date in only 1 year and 2 month’s time — I am starting to feel that sense of excitement that continues to draw me back to the starting line time and again. On Tuesday morning, I ran 3 tired, slow, post-4-day-vacation miles around my neighborhood along a route that’s become my go-to while getting back into the swing of things, enjoying the falling leaves and post-rain puddles while hopping from urban park to urban park.
Despite how difficult it was to rest my leg for 2 weeks, to return to running while only able to complete 1/2-milers at a time, and to spend the last 3 weeks of my “training” period lacing up my sneakers only — and very strictly — every other day, the fact that I’ve been able to do so and to say that, at least right now, I feel no pain, makes me feel as though, if I can make it to the corrals on Sunday morning 2 weeks from now, I’ll have already accomplished far more than I ever thought I could. Like a true training plan, the last month has very much been both a physical and mental test in itself.
Maybe the finish line isn’t always at the end of the race after all.
- Have you ever experienced an injury that muddled your training program?
- How do you define your finish line?