I "technically" graduated from the 10k Training plan that I was doing. I say "technically" because I haven't run a 10k and several of the last couple week's workouts were skipped or lessened down to not be as many miles. I could offer up all kinds of excuses about how September was so busy and whatnot, but what it mostly comes down to is that I just didn't feel like it. Hey, just being honest for the moment!
Not that I didn't like the training program, because I did. I think I was just bored with 10k training as a whole. Where I really wanted to be was in Half Marathon training. I couldn't wait for the 10k plan to be done so I could move onto what I really wanted to be doing - training for my third half marathon.
You see, I was in training for my third half marathon when the knee disaster hit. And immediately after finishing the third, I was going to continue training for my fourth. Neither of those happened both because they were cancelled and I wouldn't have been able to do it anyways because my body was not going to be ready. Side note: both half marathons were by the same race company - IO Events - and they cancelled them and said little about refunds. The first cancellation was probably about two weeks before the event (January 2013). I really don't know how these companies get away with that kind of thing. I've heard of several others that have done the same thing since we went through it earlier this year and they don't refund the money either. I can't help but wonder if they then just restart as a new company and do it all over again. Seems like fraud if you ask me but there isn't any agency that is willing to do anything about it; sadly enough. Alright - back on track here...
I was ready, mentally, to totally KILL my half marathon last January. I went into the training cycle wanting a PR and ready to work my tail off to get it. Obviously that didn't happen. Life fell apart and my body revolted. And even though I'm not looking at a PR in this next race, I want to go in to it in the best shape I can possibly be in. I want to feel trained. I can't say that I have EVER felt like that going into my previous two half marathons (Mission Inn in 2010 and Tinkerbell in 2012). There's probably one time that I went into a race feeling trained and ready for it - it was the Idyllwild 10k that I participate in each year (did the 5k this past year due to the knee issue that is beginning to sound like a broken record excuse) and after it kicked my rear the first year out in 2010, I hit the hills and upped my mileage and went in the second year in a much better place. I did PR in that race, but that was probably the last time I really felt like I was ready for a race. Not good considering that was back in June 2011. *sigh* Just in case you're curious, I did run the 10k in June 2012 and didn't feel trained and got pretty much almost the exact time as Year 1. So there you have it. Training DOES make a difference.
So my usual method of training is coming up with a really awesome plan, getting it done and rocking it out for the first several weeks, and then just slowly dropping a workout here, or not hitting the paces there, eating like I'm training for an Ironman or something, and then showing up on race day completely unprepared for the effort and usually a few pounds heavier than I even was when I started. And it shows. I go out and struggle through it and then question everything.
I feel like a fraud. Like who do I think I am?!? Do I actually believe that I'm someone that should be "racing". (Keep in mind that term is relative...) I line up at that starting line wearing the "gear" and feeling like I belong and then the buzzer goes off and within a few miles I realize that I was only fooling myself. I don't belong out there "racing". The haphazard fashion that I treat training says that I should be out there doing a Fun Walk with a group of girlfriends...and maybe small children or babies. Because then I could actually keep up and not want to die. Then I wouldn't feel like a fraud and even more so I wouldn't LOOK like a fraud walking along the course while old ladies pass me by with hardly any effort.
This time around I also can't help but realize that the half marathon I'm shooting for - The Citrus Heritage Run is basically just about the EXACT same time of year as what should have been this January. So that means I'm training at the same time. I shudder at the thought of re-injuring myself; or creating a whole new injury. Will I actually be able to even make it through a training cycle to see if I am not the fraud I've been the past two times? Maybe I'm just not capable of doing it?? Yep - MIND GAMES. They are in full force.
So to combat the mind games I really need to stay committed to my training AND my diet. I need to drop some pounds AND be smart about rebuilding my fitness. I need to recognize that boredom is my enemy...when I'm bored, I bail out. I can't bail this time. Yes, there are times I can skip a workout, but there aren't weeks that I can skip workouts. If I don't want to be a fraud, then I need to stop being a fraud. I need to show up and train like I want to compete against myself in the best shape that I can possibly be...physically AND mentally. Because running a long(er) distance race IS a mind game.
So really I guess I need to just say - Let the Games Begin!! No mind games necessary. I'm ready. I can do this. Yes, I can!!!!