Nothing Special, Really

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Last Run

The next time I go for a run, it'll be the Phoenix Half Marathon on Sunday.


I got my final run in before the race tonight, a nearly 3 mile run around Greenlake. I'm still not as serious about running as someone who did three half marathons and one full marathon last year, but considering we were out running in 34 degree weather, I guess I've become more serious than I give myself credit for.

About a half mile in, I picked up the pace from what I'm normally used to, and I was able to sustain it for almost the rest of the loop, save for a minute or two where I slowed back down to work out some stomach cramps. I've run longer distances before, but considering my pace, I think this was my best run yet. And in three days, I'll try to quadruple that distance, and then some.

After the run, we stopped by a nearby running store that was doing free consultations with physical therapists. I've been experiencing some pain in my sore toe lately, nearly any time I get beyond three miles. That's the main reason I haven't done more than a 5 mile run during my training; I don't want to ruin my toe before the race. The therapist thought my shoes were a little less supportive than they could be, but I don't have the money for new shoes at this point. She also encouraged stretching and replacing my insoles, which I'll do tomorrow when I have my debit card with me.


I've tried to get on a consistent sleep schedule before the race, but it's been anything but. My bedtimes the past couple of days have been 6am, 2am, and then there's the night I went to bed at 10:30, woke up at 3am, and didn't go back to bed until 9:30am. I'm not used to getting up early, let alone running in the morning, so I'm a bit nervous about how that's going to impact me.

I'm also nervous about the race in general. I feel like I'll be able to put forth a good effort for 6-7 miles, but I'm going to be doing something I've never even come close to doing before. Having Wac with me is definitely going to help; I doubt I'd be able to keep my focus mentally without her there. The closest I've come to running for 2.5 to 3 hours is playing basketball, but that's a different energy and not the same thing as what I'm about to do. Nevertheless, I know that I'll need to use that as a motivation tool down the home stretch.

The thing I'm most nervous about is really hurting myself. The toe problem is one thing, but also just hurting my knee or my back or something else. I'm worried about it because if I end up doing too much damage, I lack health insurance to see anyone about it. I know that I'll want to give my full effort during the run but I also need to stay start and take it easy if I feel something wrong.


The first time I started training for a marathon, I went running with Carrie around the McClintock High track sometime in February 2004. I couldn't even do a single lap around the track without stopping to catch my breath, and had to resort to running only the straight-aways. When I finally gave up my training sometime that June, I maxed my distance out at just over 3 miles, and I did that only once. There were weeks where I was consistently running 3-4 days, yet in 4 months, I only increased my distance by 2 miles.

I definitely feel much better than I did at any point in my training 5 years ago. Getting out and starting with a 3 mile run is nothing for me at this point. I definitely have room to improve my pace, but running something like Greenlake, a loop that I couldn't run without pausing just a couple of months ago, is a casual run these days.

It took me 5 years to finally get to this point: to find the motivation (or motivator) to keep me from putting off this goal, to finally get myself in a physical condition to make a half-marathon a possibility, and the constant realization that I actually enjoy doing this (although I might be singing a different tune when I'm done). I'm not as ready as I should be, but I'm ready enough.

I think.


  • Way to go Matt, See you at the races!!! Keep the faith , all will be fine, just keep focused on the race and not the would ofs, could ofs, should ofs, might happens etc.
    Take it one step at a time, and the finish line will be there before you know. Finally I get to meet Wac and you can meet Troy!!!

    By Blogger L, At January 16, 2009 at 9:24 AM  

  • Not to put a damper but... if you've only run 3-ish miles in training, the half might be a little tough... not just in terms of your conditioning but more in terms of the exact thing you are worried about... injuries. Injuries generally occur when you overextend yourself to do something you're not trained to do. Just be careful. I guess that's what I'm saying. If your toe/knee didn't hold up in training, there's no reason to think it will hold up all of a sudden on raceday. And unless you are thinking this as a once in a lifetime event, you really don't want to do something that will cause a long term injury which will contribute to your future excuses for not running/training. I'm not saying don't run. Just be careful. It's not the end of the world if you can't complete this one. There will be plenty of other races and if you can't finish, use this as motivation.

    By Blogger Alan aka RecessRampage, At January 19, 2009 at 7:40 AM  


    By Blogger L, At January 19, 2009 at 10:40 AM  

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