The past week has been eye-opening, but I'm afraid that it hasn't been the good kind of eye-opening.
The first 10-miler, in Chapel Hill, was really nice. It was a beautiful day, in a beautiful place, and I felt my friend Jill's presence so much.
Here's my favorite photo, from before the race. It was so peaceful in the stadium, and I could picture Jill in her band uniform playing during those UNC football games.
We were required to maintain a 15-minute per mile pace or be moved to the sidewalk. I was able to keep it up until about mile 5, but right around then, a few minutes behind, I was moved. It was OK -- I actually was with another runner who was super nice and supportive. My pace slowed in the last five miles (I was super tired), and I finished at about 2:42, which was a 16:16 pace. I then spent about an hour stretching in Kenan Stadium, as I was truly spent.
This week, I missed the last 5K in the Friday night series because of work/a missed train, but it was probably for the best. My right hip was hurting me. And my left foot has been in pain during some runs/walks. So I prepped for today's 10-miler instead and hoped for the best.
The cool thing about the Parkway Classic is that they have an early start option for those who can't maintain a 15-minute mile. So I took it. Unfortunately, they changed the process this year and it turned out that because I had signed up for the early start, I had to stick with the bicyclist for the first four miles, and he would only go at an 18-minute mile pace. So I wasn't even able to try to go faster until we were moved to the road with the rest of the runners.
The road, alas, was concrete, and while my IT band and hip seemed fine, my lower back hurt a bit and my foot, well, it was in a lot of pain.
I was able to run the last six miles at around a 15:30 pace, ending up with an average of 16:30 or so.
But as I sat on the waterfront with my medal afterward, I couldn't help but be a bit sad, worrying about the aches and pains, and realizing that I'm just not where I need to be in my training. I am definitely proud of how far I have come in the past six months. I'm a lot faster than I was, 35 pounds lighter and up to 10 miles in my distance. But I am still carrying too much weight on these runs and I'm starting to feel more pains than I'd like. I'm also not able to keep a 15-minute mile pace for 10 miles -- so how am I going to do it for 26.2?
I got my MCM training shirt in the mail this week and was super excited. But then a Facebook post came across noting the "six months until the race" and I kind of freaked out.
Can I do this? Should I even keep trying? I know I want this desperately, but with that six-month clock now ticking down, I am honestly more than a bit scared.
I'm also a little worried about this streak, which has hit 180 days. It may be causing me more problems than it's worth. A friend thinks the foot pain is a contusion from overuse. But if I stop the streak, I'm so afraid I will never get back.
A lot to think about.
192 days until the MCM: 1 mile
191 days until the MCM: 10 miles
190 days until the MCM: 1 mile
189 days until the MCM: 2.5 miles
188 days until the MCM: 1.5 miles
187 days until the MCM: 2.5 miles
186 days until the MCM: 1 mile
185 days until the MCM: 1 mile
184 days until the MCM: 2.5 miles
183 days until the MCM: 10 miles