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.