Friday, February 25, 2011

Dead Runner Walking

Oh, boy. What have I gotten myself into and why won't I back down? Challenge, my friends, challenge.

I'm blogging (or avoiding doing homework) from the glory that is St. Petersburg, Florida. I'm visiting with my good friend Kylie Matthews and journeying into my potentail runner death this weekend. It's called the Gasparilla Distance Classic and it may be either my worst failure or greatest triumpth.

I'm participating in the Michelob Ultra Gasparilla Challenge. God and my right knee willing, I will run the Publix 15K which is followed by a 5K. That's two races in one morning. I can do that. 15K = 9 miles, 5K=3 miles. SO that's 12(ish) miles in one day. I can do that. I did the 15K last year in 90 minutes and have since beat that time in several other races. I remember crossing the 15K mark of the Diva's Half Marathon at 85minutes.
With time to stretch and rehydrate, another 3 miles isn't so bad. Even with a minimal amount of training I've been able to get in this winter, I'm not worried about tomorrow.

It's Sunday where things are getting scary. Because I'm not sane and because I want a HUGE medal and because I, apparently, love pain, I'll be participating in the second part of the challenge-- a half marathon (#8, whatwhat!) followed by a 5+ 3K.

2011 Half Marathon Logo 2011 5+3K Logo

I have no idea what a 5 + 3K is but rumor has it that it's about 4 miles. So, thats 13.1 miles + 4 miles = 17 miles. So, for the math whizzes out there- that is 12 Saturday miles + 17 Sunday miles = 29 miles. In two days. In non-math terms, that's just CRAZY.

I feel unprepared. While I've run seven half marathons and other races, I've never run more than 15 miles. I'm trying to harness the power of positive thinking and tell myself how awesome I am and that I CAN DO THIS! But, I keep flashing to the horror that was the last three miles of the Atlanta Half Marathon.

Does that look like someone who had fun running 13.1 miles? No.

I'm trying to remember the good races like Diva's and Rutgers. I'm trying to give myself credit for having found time to get ANY running in between a nonstop/full time life. I am accepting the fact that THIS IS GOING TO HURT.

Luckily, I'll have a running buddy on Sunday for the first part. Kylie will be running her first half marathon and since my legs are going to be tired from the previous day's 12 miles, I'm running with her as she dominates those 13.1 miles like they're Wendy's Spicy Chicken Sandwhiches. She's going to rock it. She rocked the 15K last year. I'm excited to run with her as she experiences the half marathon distance.

Kylie and I after the 2010 Gasparilla 15K

Going slowly, conserving energy and not burning out are my goals for the half. I worry about the 'runover' and my knees and shins. I worry about puking or passing out or how I'm going to get through this race without my headphones. I worry about dropping and getting the first DNF. Essentailly, I'm worried about failure. I need and I want this win but I have doubts. Is there anything more annoying than self doubt?

I had the option to only register for the half. Or only do the 15K, 5K and Half. But no, I wanted to do the complete challenge. And I will. And it's not gonna be pretty and there is a lot that can go wrong. But a lot can go right. And hopefully, by Sunday afternoon- I'll be watching the Phillies beat the Yankees in a preseaon exhibition game after having run 29 miles in one weekend and having amazed myself in the process.

Go Phils!

Spring Training 2010

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