Thursday, October 23, 2014

Headstrong (I Hope)

Consider this post a preview of this Sunday's Marine Corps Marathon 10K. I'd like to get into the habit of writing a short preview of each race, listing my goals and any concerns I have going into the event. Of course, for Iron Girl, I had a whole WEEK of preview posts, but that's just because my first triathlon was such a big deal!! In the future, most preview posts will be just a day or two before the race. This time, I know I'm going to be super busy and exhausted on Saturday, and tomorrow I want to post Part II of my Super Secret List, so you get this preview a little early!

Up until yesterday, I was feeling pretty confident about this race. I've run 6 miles twice and 7 miles once during training, so getting through 6.2 this weekend seemed to be a no-brainer. And then I rattled my brain. Literally.

As I darted to my car in the rain, head ducked low to keep the drops out of my eyes, I opened my car door hard and fast...right into my forehead. It hit with such force that it made a loud noise (as did I), and I staggered around for a second trying to process what had just happened.

Once I regained my composure, I hopped in the car and drove on to work, sneaking peeks in the mirror at my growing wound along the way. There was a small cut, and all around it grew a rather large bump. Naturally there was pain right at the site of the bump, but also a headache gradually spread across my whole head.

You may now pause and laugh at my klutziness. It's okay -- I laughed about it quite a bit myself. :)

So I fought the pain with good ol' OTC meds yesterday and went to bed hoping today the pain would be mostly gone. No such luck. The bump is just as large and the headache has been even worse today!! I was scheduled to do an easy 30-minute run this morning, but I opted out due to the pain. I was planning to run today and then have two days of rest before the race. Now I'm not sure whether to squeeze the easy run in tomorrow or just skip it entirely. If my head hurts at all in the morning, I won't run. If it doesn't hurt, then I guess I have to decide whether to risk it or to play it safe.

Chances are, my head will be just fine by Sunday morning. I mean, there might still be a sore, bruised area at the surface, but any internal pain should be long gone. Still, I'm revising my race goals slightly just in case my head gives me any trouble. It was difficult coming up with goals for this race because I don't have anything in particular to prove this time around, and I know I can't achieve a PR right now because I run so much slower than I did four years ago. Mostly I just want to enjoy every bit of the experience, run the best race I possibly can at this moment in time, and finish strong.

To that end, here are my goals:
Reach: Run the whole thing, no walking
Realistic: Walk 5 minutes or less (3 or less if there is no head pain)
Easy: Run as much as possible (if there is head pain)

Expo and packet pick-up are Saturday (squeezed between my kids' sports and a Halloween event) and then the race is Sunday morning. I hope to get a race report written early next week. Until then, think of me as I run with the Marines! Semper Fi!

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