Well, I did it. I've been getting the emails, putting it on my to-do list, and dragging my feet. But after my run this morning, I finally bit the bullet. K and I have officially signed up for our second Half.
My first half was, all told, kind of a disaster. I've briefly mentioned here that I ran it on little training. By little I mean three months or more of no runs at all. Nada. Zip. Zero. Zilch...um, etc. I hardly got the first 5k under my belt before I was walking. I was blessedly able to zone out around mile 5, but by mile 10 I was limping along as my legs refused to lift off the ground. I was barely able to run the last half mile (which K, having finished before me, came back to run with me), and after this disaster I found I'd sustained a foot and knee injury.
As in, I tried to do a mile recovery run the next day and hardly made it a quarter of the way before I had to walk. I had to sit out running and let myself recover, all the while thinking about what an embarrassing display I'd put on.
Time heals all wounds, and I can now find some satisfaction in the fact that I participated in the race. But I'm not really happy with my time, of course, and I'm certainly not happy with my effort. After receiving emails about discount codes and early-bird pricing, I finally realized that if I kept putting off the planned November Half, I'd never do another one. I'd never suck it up, face this mental monster I've created, and meet the full potential I'm working toward.
I refuse to let my fear of failure get in the way. Not when I've been so consistent. If I were to try for a Half tomorrow, I'd be in way better shape than I was last time, and we've just gotten up to 3-milers this week!
I think the biggest fear, of course, is not necessarily that I'll stop training, but that I'll keep training and absolutely suck anyway. On the race application, it asks for your estimated finishing time. I rounded way up. Just in case, you know? Logically, I know this is silly. How could I possibly do any worse than I did the first time around? Making a PR for a Half should be cake. But there's still this dreadful sensation I get when I think about this race, and I don't think I can even put into words this all-consuming doubt I have.
But, it's too late now. After shelling out a gross amount of money to join, I refuse to back out. K and I will keep our schedule and will be ready by November 18. I'll finally be able to come to terms with the terrible first Half because the second Half will eclipse it in all the best ways. I'll be able to treat it as the learning experience it is. I'll finally feel like I'm accomplishing more than just logging miles for no purpose, and I'll have a reason to rise above my usual 3 mile runs and finally enter long-run territory. (Nothing like using a terrifying race as a goal and motivator, right?)
I'm excited and anxious, which is why I've turned to my blog, the purpose of which is to keep me motivated and hold me publicly accountable for my running goals. So there it is, blog world. I've signed up and I plan to run it. (I've also convinced one colleague to run it as well, and am hoping a second or more will join the fun!)
Now wish me luck.