The Lead Up
I signed up for this half almost a year ago. "They're having a Rock N Roll half in Providence?" I thought when I first found out. "Sign me up!" So I did and then anxiously looked forward to it for months.
Meanwhile I got injured real bad. But I recovered! I got faster, I got stronger, I kicked some ass (with help) at the New England Relay! Everything was going great. Until July. Suddenly it didn't feel the same. I felt slower, workouts felt harder, the needle on the scale was going the wrong way. All of my workout times and distances were perfect on paper but they just didn't feel right. What was going on?
As the race got closer and closer I stopped looking forward to it and began to dread its inevitable arrival. What had once been something to look forward to (another half marathon, yeah!) had become something I wanted to avoid. Sure I could run it and I was reasonably confident that I could set a new PR but it was that number on my schedule that had me worried. My target time had been set at an alarming 1:24. No freaking way was that happening. I kept saying that to myself. No way I could run 6:24 miles for 13 miles. Impossible.
I kept repeating that. Wasn't going to happen. Can't happen. Way too fast. I did my last half around a 6:55 pace. 30 seconds a mile faster just couldn't happen. The more I though about it the more depressed about it I got. How could I be expected to run that kind of pace, that's just crazy. I am nowhere near the kind of shape I need to be in to run that fast of a race.
Sometimes everything just seems to line up and fall into place for races, this was definitely not the case for this one. My training felt off, my weight was off, I wasn't sure what shoes to wear, I didn't have a good shirt to wear, and to top it all off, the forecast called for rain and then more rain. The perfect storm of self-doubt was brewing in my head.
As I toed the line on Sunday morning all of this uncertainty and doubt remained. I had no idea what to expect over the course of the race but I wasn't too confident in myself.