Friday, February 15, 2019

This Week has Been a Joke

This week has been a true example of Murphy's Law at work. Like, it has to be a joke, it's been so rough.

First, I came down with a cold the minute I finished my last long run on Sunday. I've been given prednisone for my asthma, but don't want to take a decongestant or cough medicine because of hydration issues I've had in the past. Plus, I think maybe the prednisone is giving me foot and leg cramps.

Our lovely cool front teased me with a return on Wednesday only to completely disappear. Warm weather is back, and it looks like race day is going to be warm and sunny.
Wednesday, I accidentally spilled Chipotle all over the kitchen and injured the crook of my knee with the vacuum when I was cleaning it up. Because of course I did.
I mean...why. Just why.
I've been having muscle cramps in my sleep (and all I can think is that they must be related to the Taper Bogeyman or prednisone or something) and I couldn't decide all week if I should risk an easy run with my cold and wheezing to lubricate my legs, or keep resting. I finally ran Thursday, which resulted in more foot cramps (the kind where your toes curl in like claws and you have to manually pull them apart for relief).
Please ignore all the weird autocorrects here and focus instead on the fact that the cherry on top of this week was seeing a car on fire where I usually park to go on my runs. And also, foot cramps.
The good news is that the run gave me a feel for my legs. They feel fresh! My lungs are a mess right now - no amount of albuterol or prednisone is fully clearing them at the moment - but running actually made them feel better. (Sorry Mom, please don't freak out, I promise not to die on Sunday.)

Also, Jess and Jenn got me some good luck race day/birthday bling and I know it's going to bring me luck and good vibes on Sunday!
When your legs get with your heart!
I also recall running this race pretty sick one year and feeling surprisingly great on race day, so I'm hoping to just have a repeat of that experience.

Basically, this week leading up to A1A has been harder than the entire training cycle (it's almost laughable, really), but I'm still feeling pretty confident in an I know this race is going to happen so none of this even matters kind of way.

As of tonight, training is officially over and race weekend is upon us. Wish me luck!


PS: It's my birthday today, so happy birthday to me! A great gift would be clear lungs and sinuses come Sunday. Thanks in advance.

Monday, February 11, 2019

It's Race Week!

It's here!

This race is all that's been on my mind for months...and if I want to be really honest, it's all that's been on my mind for a year or more. After my first fasciotomy in August 2017, I knew I'd love to run it as my first long distance race post-surgeries. When I learned I may not be able to due to scheduling conflicts, I was devastated.

That changed in October, when I found out I could run A1A after all. I've had a one-track mind since then!
I don't want to talk about goals. Goals aren't even on my radar, honestly. My perspective on running and racing has shifted dramatically since my CECS diagnosis, and my priorities are completely different these days. That will surely change with time, but for now, my goals aren't exactly quantifiable.

I wrote about that on Instagram last week:

Let’s talk goals 🏃🏻‍♀️ . Too often, goals become arbitrary. We lose sight of why we’ve set a goal, and why we’re busting our butts for weeks on end to achieve said goal. I have been so guilty of that. . Not this time. My goal for A1A (which is a measly 13 days away!) is all about the experience. I’m better trained for this race than I’ve been for any half I’ve run before, but time and performance are at the bottom of my priorities list. . After a year of injury and another year of recovery, my goal for this race is to run it like the victory lap it is. Training has shown me that I am healed. That my perseverance and positivity have survived two years of setbacks. That I AM still a runner. That I still love this sport. That it still brings me joy and peace and strength and empowerment. That everything was worth it. . . My goal for this race is to finish smiling, even if it’s through (happy) tears.
A post shared by Ali (@abk_runs) on
No, this post isn't about goals. It's about anxiety. It's about typical post-training worry and pre-race jitters.

When I originally wrote my training plan, I kept my long runs really conservative and didn't plan a double-digit run until late January. Because of this, I had 12 miles planned the weekend before race day. Those 12 miles were planned more for mental support than physical need.

Cut to Sunday morning, when I ran my last long run of training. I only did 8 miles, instead of the prescribed 12. My legs were so tired the entire run, I knew cutting it down was the smart thing to do. Being able to keep a steady pace the entire run despite my tired legs gave me a mental boost.
The fact remains, although I did longer long-runs earlier in training than originally planned, I never ran longer than 10.5 miles...and now I'm regretting it.

I know I can run a solid half on the training I've put in. I'm pretty sure I'm better trained for this half than I've ever been before, at least as far as consistency and total mileage goes. It's also not my first rodeo - I know what to expect miles 10-13.1 to feel like. I don't have a time goal, but I don't want to be miserable out there on the course.

My logical-brain feels prepared and excited. My neurotic-brain is wringing its hands and wondering why we didn't do 12 last weekend.

Well. Nothing I can do about it now, right?! Other than talk it out and move that's what I'm doing.

This week I have a couple short runs planned that I'm going to cut even shorter (based on leg-feel today) and's race day next Sunday! I can't wait!


ETA: I have a virus of some kind and am on prednisone starting Monday, so it's a good thing I don't have a time goal, huh?