Sunday, March 04, 2012

Winners are grinners

Cheshire Cat
Originally uploaded by Elysia in Wonderland.

So the NYC Half-Marathon is two weeks today. I have been freaking out about that, I don't mind admitting to you. And I get worried sometimes when people try and tell me that I'll finish the 13.1 miles no problems (despite my knee issue). I know they mean to be encouraging and comforting, but I can't help but wonder if they're really just blowing smoke up my ass. I have been trying to stay upbeat but also realistic about my prospects.

And so last weekend it was really important to me that I clocked 8 miles - because that was my longest run to date. Yes I was almost crippled afterwards but psychologically, if not physically, I had to prove to myself that I could do it. And sure, in the following days I paid the price for my idiocy. My physical therapist didn't exactly growl at me like I feared he would, but he did say I needed to be careful and keep my eye on the prize. And to reinforce his point he pushed and prodded my knee extra hard this week (double ice-packing at times). Yeow.

But today I pushed myself even further, because I've realised I rather like being in hell. Today I actually clocked 10 miles but not only that, I incorporated a run-walk up Harlem Hill, the ultimate bitchy hill in Central Park - or at least as far as I am concerned. Let's be serious here - the Hill was not fun, but conquering it was essential to keeping my head in the game.

And before we start mixing the punch and blowing up balloons, I need to be transparent about something. I clocked 10 miles today but I couldn't run-walk that full distance - my knee really DID give up towards the end. But I reckon I would have done race-quality time for at least 9 miles of my run today. For the periods that I walked, I paced it out and didn't go on a casual Sunday stroll either. And in the end, I finished the 10 miles in just under 2 hours, which I thought was a pretty respectable time. And quite a promising one for race day, if I can only sustain it.

Stretching afterwards was an unpleasant experience (for me, and anyone watching me I presume). I think my hamstrings were crying from Pilates yesterday. Incidentally, whose dumb idea was it for me to book into a bunch of intermediate Pilates classes before the half-marathon? Ouch all over. Idiot.

It's now been about 45 minutes since I finished my run (and the delicious Central Park Boathouse coffee reward afterwards). I feel pretty good at the moment - my knee, legs and feet aren't even as sore as they were last week. All good things. I shall reach for the ice packs very soon though.

And let's get real here, I don't exactly feel like going outside and running ANOTHER 10 miles, but at least my brain is more confident that it can push my body for 13.1 mile race in fourteen days time. Race Day will be here before I know it. Dun-dun-DUUUUUUUN.

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