Monday, December 12, 2005

believing in myself

I posted a message on my triathlon email group looking for feedback on my idea of doing a half marathon in February. Most people said go for it, your training is fine for what you want to do. But a few advised me not to rush it but rather to give myself more time to build up slowly. I got defensive and wrote:
Am I foolishly risking injury? That is the danger, but I'm trying to be careful and will drop the idea if I start to have problems in my training. I think I can probably do it safely if I don't push myself too much. Am I interfering with the seriousness of the event for real runners? I will be careful to start in the back and not get in anyone's way, and if the race organizers specify a 4 hour cutoff, I assume I won't be the only slow one. I want to do it because it would be fun and exciting and inspiring and I would be immensely proud of myself, no matter how slow I am. I don't have to be good at this (even relative to my age) to have fun and to be proud of myself.
Several people pointed out to me backchannel that I am a real runner. Oops, that was a revealing slip.

And then I went to the race site and the cutoff is now listed as three hours and I temporarily lost my confidence. There are programs that predict your time at one distance from another, and those predict from my best 5K time a half marathon time of about 2:50, but I'm not going to expect to be able to do that with less than ideal training. However, I know these race directors are very friendly about people finishing after the cutoff.

I did a three mile run this morning and it felt good and I got my confidence back. Maybe I just need to keep telling myself I am a real runner. If my knee and hip hold out and I do the half marathon I will do it more in the spirit of an organized century bicycle ride than of a race, but I will feel I have accomplished something big, and that is what it is all about.


nancytoby said...

You are going to do GREAT in that half marathon. I have total confidence in you training sensibly and meeting your goal - with flying colors!!

Some of the people on that list are coming from a MUCH different perspective. At least, it will always be much different than from where I sit!!! :-)

Isis said...

I think you should go for it! As long as you've got time and inclination to ramp up the training distance, so you don't risk injury by shocking your body with a super-long run, what is there to lose?

Pem said...

My training plan is to increase my long run by 1/2 mile each week, which gives me 10 miles as my longest run. My other two runs each week will be three miles.

Isis said...

I am not really an expert about running, but I would think that would put you in good position to finish without injury. Or maybe you would consider raising your long run by a mile one or two times so that you can get closer to the whole distance before the race? That way the ramping up to 13 might be more gradual.