Monday, April 6, 2009

Looming on the horizon...

So, I'm 12 days away from running the longest distance I've ever run in my life - 13.1 miles. Just saying that number makes my legs feel heavy. It's daunting to imagine running five more miles than what I ran last Saturday - a run that culminated in more of a stumble than a stride, leaving every muscle in my body aching and worn.

About a month ago I was hit really hard with shin splints - a condition that occurs when the fascia surrounding the muscle in your calves begins pulling away from the bone due to repeated stress. It's a painful condition that makes you wonder if your shins are breaking apart. Literally. You're running and with each step you're thinking, "My gosh. I'm going to see my shins crack in half." Because of this, I had to take a few weeks off to heal. I bought new running shoes, and I run more often now on softer surfaces like grass and dirt. This has all helped considerably.

But it doesn't change the fact that I've not been able to train as extensively for the half marathon as I would have liked. I'd really like to be running more miles every day, but I've kept it low to keep any more problems at bay (over-training is the number one cause of shin splints). Because of this lack of preparation, though, I'm a little nervous.

On the bright side, two things give me hope. The first is that this is not a full fledged marathon. Obviously, when one is running 26.2 miles, a lack of training makes a much more serious impact on your race day experience. The second is that on an episode of "The Biggest Loser" a few weeks ago, many people weighing much more than I do finished a half marathon. If they can do it, so can I.

Still, though. 13.1 miles.



  1. Dude, you can do it. It is all mental. Once you start running, all worries go away unless you get attacked by......dwarf runners.....angry old women with purses thinking that you are running to rob them.....other then that, it will be a great day.

  2. Just like the genius above, you're going to rock it barry! You're amazing! Someday before I'm 90, I'm going to run a 1/2 marathon too. As for the shins... point and flex your feet. I got shin splints every year during volleyball season and this actually helped me. Just think, at the finish line, if you're not dead, you can get a sweet massage ;)

  3. Barry, you can do it, just harken back to the High School cross-country days. You can have a nice cathartic vomit when you're done!and working at home, you can sit with your shins in buckets of ice while you work on the websites! You will do fine!!

  4. Thanks, guys, for your encouragement!

  5. I know I'm a stranger but I couldn't resist contributing. I would recommend taking some Tylenol right before the race (and perhaps at mile 6 or so) and chugging some chocolate milk immediately following.

    Maybe I'll see you out on the course. Good luck!