|I draw the line at running when ice is forming inside the car.
A training cycle full of shin splints would have been hard enough to overcome on its own, but I have to factor in my abysmal mileage total in 2023, too. I took four months off in the first half of the year. I barely ran five miles a week June-September. I gave up on strength entirely.
In the past, beginning training in October for a February race would have been fine, but I had essentially destroyed my foundation completely. I think I've been in denial, thinking I could speed-run this training cycle. The truth is, the entire thing has been a struggle.
I'm not making excuses. I'm just finally admitting to myself that a half isn't a good idea right now. My heart isn't in it.
Could I do the half on February 11? Sure. I think I wouldn't enjoy myself and I'd risk burnout, maybe even injury. Am I excited to do a 10k? Not really. It feels anti-climatic and I feel pretty defeated. But I think I'll come around.
I keeping thinking of the 9-miler I did in December. I ran it alone and I felt so good the entire time. It had me feeling confident I could run a half; if I had been able to keep that momentum through January, I'd be feeling completely different right now. But the fact that missing just two long runs was enough to derail my progress really proves to me that I am not in the form I'd like to be in for a half marathon.
At the end of the day, though, I know I'm doing the right thing. I'm going to try to make the 10k everything it can be. I'll run a smart race and hopefully really enjoy it. And then I'll have time to dedicate myself to a real training plan for a spring half and maybe that full in the fall.
I'm disappointed, but I know I'm making the right choice.