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.