I remember that at the start line of my first half marathon I had only one goal: Finish.
My goal at every race since has been different: Finish faster.
I am running a 15K on Saturday. It will be the longest race that I have run since my most recent half marathon in April. My usual long run is a 15K. I run one full loop of Central Park followed by two loops of the bridle path. I have also run two 10-mile long runs since my last half marathon, one of them on Thanksgiving. My race calendar has been packed for the past couple of months, so I feel that I have been in non-stop training mode.
I had planned to run a 3.3 mile trail run this morning, but at the halfway point I just wasn’t feeling it. My calves were sore, I was tired. I knew right then that I wasn’t going to gain anything by continuing my run. I stopped, stretched and walked home.
The truth is that if I wasn’t in the middle of a run streak, I probably would have taken today and tomorrow off from running altogether. But I figured, since I had to run anyway, that I would run one of my favorite runs. Today, though, I just didn’t have it in me. And that is okay.
There is something to be said for these three words: TRUST YOUR TRAINING.
The race is two days away. There is nothing to be gained by pushing myself at this point. If anything, it could be detrimental. I need to run Saturday’s race on fresh legs. I need to feel fired up and eager to run when I reach the starting line.
I have trained hard. I’ve run an average of more than four training runs per week since the start of 2012. In the past few months, my weekly training schedule has consisted of one run focusing on speed training, one focusing on hills, one focusing on balance and agility (trail run) and one long run (usually 15K).
I am ready for this race.
So this morning when I started to feel worn down and sore, I knew it was best to cut my run short. It was enough. I have run two incredible races in the past month. I’m racing in the 8:40’s per mile now, and that is amazing. I know that I already have the strength in my body and the focus and drive to do amazing things on Saturday.
I trust my training.