Yes. I am. In Philly.
I’m not sure what to make of it. I’m not sure what I can reasonably expect to do.
(If you use a plan that has you running by time instead of distance, prepare to be filled with a self-doubt you can’t tame by looking at your log.)
I feel like I didn’t train hard enough this summer and fall. My hip is still a little off, and I don’t want to further aggravate it. I considered not running, or pacing my friend who’s shooting for sub-4, or running with Paul in his first marathon (even though he has told me he’d prefer to run alone).
But I did have at least one totally killer workout that I timed — a 20-miler with the last 12 at 8:10 pace, on September 7, which was only, oh, a little over two months ago — and others where I just felt really good, and I can’t waste that.
I should probably set some goals. So, here they are:
Run without a watch or run with a watch just to make sure I’m calm enough in the first few miles. Starting slow never seems to be a problem in Philly — thanks, half-marathoners! — but still. I want that negative split, and I can’t do it if I’m obsessing over pace too early.
Keep up my semi-comfortable-until-at-least-mile-22 streak in Philly. I’ve run Philly twice. Both times, I felt pretty good until about mile 24. This is probably why I like Philly so much. I don’t want to ruin it for myself this year.
See Paul on the out-and-back when I’m running back to finish. Maybe give him a high five, if he wants one.
Squeeze my glutes! I’ve been doing these PT exercises that are supposed to strengthen my glutes, which will supposedly fix the massive hip drop that is the source of all my problems, but they’re no help if I don’t engage my glutes while I run. So, every mile, I pledge to take some stock in my form and make sure I’m using those butt muscles of mine.
Be nice to myself. If I keep telling myself that I feel good, then I will, right? This article says so. Also, that killer workout I referenced above felt really, really hard at first — I didn’t know if I could keep the pace — but then it got easier. I’d never experienced that before, but it could happen in a race, too.
Finish. I know I can finish. But, if I’m not going to PR, and I’m not going to cross off another state, I don’t know how I’ll talk myself into continuing on unless this is one of my goals. (The exception: If my hip gets real weird, I will DNF.)