It's hard to believe that operation "Big Time" came about a year ago! And entire year! I've obviously been running that entire time but didn't start my official training for my intended "big time" PR race until January. When I didn't pull off "big time" at the Cap City half in May, I knew I wanted another chance. And I knew I needed to step up my game and train harder. So now, here we are, a year after the "big time" goal was established and one week before race day.
I am feeling exponentially more confident about next weekend's race than I did before the race in May. Obviously that was a bit extreme given that I was in the ED with breathing issues just 5 days before the race but even before that incident, I wasn't 100% confident I could pull it off. This time around though is a whole different story. I feel much better trained, I've been churning out PR pace nearly every single run. I'm the lightest I've been in years. I'm more acclimated for heat in case the weather is warm. And if it's cooler out, watch out. I'll be on fire. I almost always do better in cooler weather. I feel like now the only things that would prevent me from getting that big time PR are things that are out of my control. It could be pouring rain, or snowing, or 90 degrees, the course is over crowded (a big concern of mine actually, given the location), illness or other unforeseen circumstances.
Speaking of illness. A cold bug has officially entered our house as of this morning. In the middle of a 6 mile run pushing the stroller. Megatron was sneezing a lot in the stroller. By the time I finished and looked at him, he had snot all over the place and his eyes were watery. And as the day has gone on, the snot just keeps coming. Damn. But, like I said, that's out of my control so I'm trying not to freak out about that. I'll take some extra precautions so hopefully I can avoid it (remember, Megatron is immunosuppressed so I have a slightly higher chance of avoiding a cold than he does.). I also have a back up plan in place that's helping to ease my mind. There is another half marathon 2 weeks after my first race and a friend offered me her bib in case something goes awry. I'm hoping I won't need it!
This morning was my last "long" run before I back way off and rest up. It was pretty comical to be honest. On the way out, I felt like I was flying. It was comfortable and even pushing the stroller it felt good, despite the pace being in the 11's. I even joked with the ladies I was running with that I was shocked I was able to keep up at that pace and that my wheels might fall of fon the way back. There was even a frickin' rainbow out in the distance. And then we turned around. And suddenly it wasn't rainbows and fun anymore. Why? Why do I always forget that on that particular trail, the wind (if there is any), is always at your back on the way out? Yup, we turned around and were running right into the wind. We are all either tapering or post-race so all of our legs suddenly felt like lead and that stroller turned into a giant sail, pushing back on me. We opted for a half mile walk break since none of us was really looking to push the pace. We picked it back up though and managed a decent pace on the way back but dang was it work. I was huffing and puffing with that stroller. My friend Cathy even took a turn pushing. We still pulled off a 12:32 average pace, which if I can keep that up next weekend, I'll be golden.
Fingers and toes are crossed. I've done the training and there isn't anything else I can do this week that will make any difference other than trying my best to keep myself rested and healthy. I say this like I'm 100% calm and collected. That just depends on the moment. I had a momentary freak out a couple days ago about my training and emailed a friend asking about my tapering plan. I was pretty spot on with my plan, which she confirmed and her response was enough to calm me down and realize it was just the "taper crazies" setting in. Hopefully when I write my race report, it will be all rainbows and fun.