Yesterday I was working outside, doing some planting and cleaning up of the flower beds, and I noticed that my shins were a little tight and sore from Saturday's race. I am usually not sore after races, but I knew that I pushed myself pretty hard. I was interested to see how my legs would handle today's three mile run. I am very happy to report that while I can still feel some tightness, there was no pain during today's run. And I have no reason to think that tomorrow's 7 mile run should give me any problems. I hope that the weather is nice enough tomorrow to do my 7 miles outside after I drop Jaden off at preschool.
I am really struggling right now with following my training plan. I had some very qualified help when I put together my training plan, so I (intellectually) believe that it is a good plan and that it will adequately prepare me to accomplish my goals. But, I haven't had a double digit run in over two weeks and I am getting nervous. Granted, last week was a scheduled light week and it corresponded to my minor taper leading up to Crazy Legs. This weekend I have one of my big races for the season. I am running a 20K (12.4 miles) around Lake Monona in Madison. I know that I need to take it easy for a bit before a long race like that. But, as I was running today, I realized that I have never run 12.4 miles. I did 12 miles on my birthday, and I know (intellectually) that my body is conditioned to be able to complete the distance, but I like to KNOW that I can do something before I do it. Usually this means that I will have already done it at least once. My training plan has me running a 14 mile training run prior to my half marathon in a few weeks.
I know that it is not recommended to run a training distance equal to a marathon, prior to racing that distance. And my training plan only takes me up to 22 miles. But for some reason, I think that is okay. I'm not worried about going from 22 miles to a race distance of 26.2. Why? I have no idea! If I can rationalize that, I should certainly be able to rationalize going from a training distance of 12 miles, to a race distance of 12.4 miles. I realize that you may think that I am insane. You would be close to the truth. I am just trying to learn to trust my body and to trust the training that I have put in. If I were training to be competitive in this weekend's race, I probably would have skipped Crazy Legs and focused on another long run prior to the 20K. But I wouldn't have given up the experience of Crazy Legs for anything! So, instead, I will continue to worry and ponder and anxiously wonder if I have adequately prepared myself for 12.4 miles around the lake.