go, turtle, go

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

I am supposed to be extra-cautious with my diet this week: Lots of complex carbohydrates, no alcohol, minimal fats and pretty much no new or experimental food that could in any way cause GI distress. (Hence tonight's dinner: "Nachos" made with onions, pasilla peppers, heirloom cherry tomatoes from our potted tomato plants outside, corn relish, soyrizo and feta.)

Yes, it's pre-race week. There are exactly five days left until the Wine Country Half Marathon in Healdsburg.

This is my third half marathon this year, so it seems like I should have more confidence, but instead I feel iffy. My training was interrupted by an injury and then a cold, and my runs just haven't been as strong or as fast as I would have liked them to be. I was really hoping to PR at Healdsburg and possibly get my time down to 2:09, but now my goal is just to finish without looking like I'm about to collapse (especially since my parents will be watching, and they will freak out and try to convince me to give up running forever if anything goes remotely wrong).

So I am struggling right now. I am frustrated that I am not faster and better. I am impatient and stamping my foot (my right foot, since my left foot still hurts a little) and wondering why -- even though I've joined a training group and have a coach and follow a personalized training plan and read every dorky running book I can get from the library and have the shoes and the Body Glide and the Garmin -- it's taking so damn long to improve.

It's funny -- you'd think with running it would be about getting to a destination as quickly as possible. But what I'm learning is that it's actually the opposite -- more like slowing down, figuring out your limitations, accepting them and then trying carefully to overcome them -- and forgiving yourself if you don't succeed right away. It's a tough lesson.

Given this, I really should be viewing Healdsburg as just another training run. It's preparation for CIM, which will be the real test (first full marathon ever -- yikes). And it's a small step in what will hopefully be many more years of running.

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