Since last week, I have been icing, stretching, and foam rolling non-stop to try and resolve some issues with what I believe to be general tightness and inflammation in my Piriformis muscle. I think my tactics have been effective because it has been doing a lot better. I took several days off from running and eventually tested my body on a handful of slow 4 mile runs. The good news is that there is no pain while I am running or increased discomfort after running. In fact, the thing that tends to cause it to tighten up is sitting (proof that desk jobs are worse for your body than running all the miles, in my opinion).
I am happy that things are looking up because I was more than a little upset a week ago when I had serious thoughts that my issues might keep me from even starting the race. I’m so thankful for the fact that I am feeling better, but the whole thing wasn’t exactly a boost for my confidence. I haven’t had what I would consider a good strong run since my final 20-miler three weeks ago. Yes, I know that it’s a taper so I am not supposed to be having fast runs or long runs. But at least one generally strong run where I felt like that whole four months of training actually happened and wasn’t something I just dreamed up.
But it is what it is and I am still very VERY excited for the weekend. I’ve heard a lot of runners talk about how, if you are going to set race-day goals for yourself, it is a good idea to set multiple goals so your enjoyment of the event isn’t entirely hinging on something that’s a huge reach. It is good to have confidence in yourself but there are so many factors that go into a race – some controllable and some not. Even if you are trained up and in great physical shape to meet your #1 goal, there are too many things that can happen in so many miles/hours of running that can put that goal out of reach. With that in mind, here are my A, B, and C goals for the Richmond Marathon.
A. Finish with a time of 3:35 or under. Like I have said before, I think this goal is physically attainable for me if everything goes well. I think my body can do it. And I will be thrilled if it happens. But I am not going to consider the day a failure and cry if it doesn’t either. Honestly, I am more likely to cry if I come in missing this goal by 30 seconds or some negligible time like that than if I finish 20 minutes off from it.
B. Beat Sarah Palin. A friend of mine emailed me an article listing a bunch of celebrities’ marathon finish times. Sarah finished in 3:59:36, so basically this is my way of saying my B goal is to get under 4 hours. Without getting all political about it, I am not Sarah Palin’s biggest fan so getting to one-up her would be an added bonus for me.
C. Enjoy myself and finish safely, running the whole time. I know that Richmond is going to be one of the biggest and most exciting races I have run yet. When push comes to shove, I want to have a good time. The goal I successfully reached for my first marathon was simply finishing the race without stopping to walk so I would obviously like to do that again. Given how much my pace has changed since then, it’s reasonable to assume that if I run the whole thing I will probably PR (my easy pace now is a minute plus per mile faster than what was comfortable to me then). But, in general, this goal is meant to be attitude and morale related and not time related.
There you have it folks. My bags are all packed and I’m ready to make the trek to Virginia. I won’t be back to post here until I’m back home and in full-on recovery mode. If you want to see what’s going on I will try to be good about posting on my Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts so follow me there!
Anyone else headed to Richmond this weekend? If so, GOOD LUCK and let’s meet up!