When I roll up for this 10K on Saturday, it will have been 146 days since I last stood at the starting line of a race.
146 days ago I couldn't walk.
129 days ago I couldn't walk without crutches.
111 days ago I couldn't run.
55 days ago I couldn't run more than 5 miles.
No, I am not even remotely in the kind of shape I want to be in. No, I won't be PRing or placing on Saturday. But dammit, I can run 6.2 miles without breaking myself, and that's not nothing.
The plan going into Saturday is, there is no plan. Okay maybe there's kind of a plan. Even though I know I'm not in shape to race this really well, I do want to use the opportunity to see what kind of fitness I've got right now under race conditions, which is not something I was feeling terribly confident about last week. Since seeing my PT on Tuesday, though, I've had pretty much a 180° turnaround. I've had two great runs this week (5 & 6 miles respectively) & while yes, there is still that little niggle of pain in my hip flexor, it's staying in the 2-3/10 range and not getting any worse, so I'm continuing to take my PT's advice & just ignore it rather than letting it sideline me for days. My six miler Thursday evening felt great, which went a long way towards boosting my confidence about this race.
Bib(less) man!! Do you have any idea how long it's been
since I've made a bib man? Clearly, she is almost as excited as I am.
My usual strategy in a 10K is to start out in the 7:15 range, then gradually ratchet down, & give it everything I have left in the last mile or so. I think I might still try to start out in the 7:15 range just to see how it feels, but I'm guessing that absolutely best case, I'll just hold on to that pace all the way through (finish time around 45:00), or I'll find after a couple of miles that I need to ease back to 7:20-25 (finish time ~45:40). And hey, if I can finish the whole race at a sub-7:30 pace, that'll still be more of a tempo run than I've gotten in since I started running again in July. I've been doing my easy runs in the 8:10-15 range, so absolute worst case, I feel pretty confident I'll be able to run sub-8's & finish under 50 minutes.
But really--whatever happens, it's just more information for me to use as I get back into more structured training & look towards the Berkeley Half. (As opposed to right now where it's basically, "Did running happen? Awesome. Did it not feel terrible? Bonus.") I have some reasonable guesses about what will probably happen, but no real goals except to finish & not feel like death.
It's a bit late for #throwbackthursday but I'll leave you with one of my favorite songs from my junior high days by the lovely and wise Des'ree. I heard it somewhere recently and kind of went "Yeah; yeah, that's pretty much how I feel about all this."
See you on the other side of this thing. ;)
If you're running, cheering, or will just be in the neighborhood, let me know & I'll try to look for you!!