I love running in organised races, but I hate training. It's not a lack of motivation, although finding the time can be challenging. It's not isolation, as I've trained with a partner or groups. Mentally, I just can't get my head into putting the same amount of effort that I would for an official race. I know training is going to be more important as I get older, but for now I seem to be able to get away with throwing down my best times on race days. Husband is always chiding me that I could be much faster if I trained properly. Interestingly, he is much more diligent about training, but doesn't want to race as much.
So, apparently I did announced in my post A Marathon versus a Sprint that I was planning to run an 18 mile run this month. I've been able to keep my baseline fitness level at a point where I can easily run a 10K at any time, so I find that I only need a few weeks to train for a half marathon. I wanted a challenge that would actually require me to properly train. January was a little colder than usual, which discouraged me from engaging in long runs. I started running more in February, but by March I had to work around having swim meets every other weekend. As a sprinter in swimming, I needed to preserve my legs for kicking. Suddenly it was April and I realised the 18 mile run was only 6 weeks away. I set up a training plan and started increasing my distance every 2-3 miles each weekend. The day I was slated to run 15 miles, I found that I ran the first 12 easily and struggled during the last three. I was starting to doubt if I would be able to run the 18 mile distance. Then I took note of the fact that I wrote the wrong date of the race in my calendar. The race was actually one week earlier.
It kills me to back down from any challenge and to admit that I can't do something. I realised I had a choice to make. I could probably finish the 18 mile race, but it would be a slow struggle, or I could change my distance to a half marathon and complete it in a semi-decent time. It was time to accept my limitations. At this point in my life, I'm not able to manage running more than a half marathon. 13 miles is still a recpectable distance, and probably not too many people can pull it off with only a few weeks of training.
I figured I would probably come in around 2:25, but somehow I managed to keep my pace per mile under ten minutes for ten miles, which would put me close to a 2:10 finish. It was a rather hot day, so I stopped at the last two aide stations are really took time to rehydrate (I don't usually stop at all during a race). My runkeeper time (which does pause when you stop running and I know isn't completely accurate) had my time at 2:15.43 (my best time was 2:14). The official clock recorded my finish at 2:20.17. I had exceeded my own expectations.
So the obvious analogy is that I accepted our biological limitations that we likely won't conceve wihtout assistance and I hope our fertility treatments will exceed my expectations. The last time I ran a half marathon was on the exact same course (although in the opposite direction) the day before I found out I was pregnant. I looked up my time on that day -2:20.15 (although I didn't stop at all during that race). I know it doesn't mean anything more than consistency, but should I become pregnant this cycle, I'll declare there is something lucky about that race course.