This Runner's Trials

Unprepared and undertrained

Posted by runnerstrials

Years ago, right after I started a new job, a coworker asked me what I did over the weekend. I told him I ran a half marathon. He replied, “of course you did.” My expression must have showed my confusion because he said something along the lines of “all I mean is that you’re really on top of things and that’s a runner’s calling card.”

He was right. Many runners fit into the type A mold nicely. We stick to rigid training plans, follow pre-race rituals, analyze our paces, and plan out racing schedules months in advance.

For me, this behavior usually works out fairly well (save for marathon attempts). I’ve had more positive race experiences than negative ones, and in 2012, I was lucky enough to PR in every distance I ran. Yet sometimes even when we have the best of intentions, even when we set seemingly realistic goals, and even when training appears to be going well, we get in over our heads. That’s exactly where I am now.

This weekend I am participating in runDisney's Goofy’s Race and Half Challenge in Disney World (that’s a half marathon on Saturday followed by a full marathon on Sunday). When I registered last March, I was 3 months postpartum and back to doing double digit runs, so I thought the race and training would be challenging but doable. Plus, Goofy has been on my to-do list for three years. I thought the excitement of this huge goal would be more than enough motivation to train well.

Well, training did not go as planned. I think every nursing mother hits a point where she realizes she has physical limits. I ignored some symptoms and ended up pretty sick and sidelined from running for much of December. Since my training went much worse than planned, I gave up on Goofy. No half, no full, just spectating.

When I felt better Christmas week, I started running again but just for fun. Then on January 1, I couldn’t resist:


13 to ring in ‘13

So, the half was back on. But I wouldn’t do the full. There’s no way I’d do the full marathon the day after a half marathon.

You all know what happened next. The wheels started turning. So what if my original training plan didn’t work out, I (kind of) believe that I’m at least prepared enough to complete the race. If I take the half slow, if I run/walk the half, if I completely walk the full…

I know lining up for Goofy isn’t the wisest move. How can I not at least try? Who sits out a runDisney event just because they're slightly undertrained? Certainly not this girl! I'm hoping the Disney magic will guide me across the finish line!

(I’ve gotten a few emails wondering about Wyatt’s health. I appreciate the concern and feel kind of embarrassed for disappearing! After his diagnosis, I needed to step back from blogging and just process things for a while. Since he has pretty a rare illness, I feel it’s best to keep specifics off the internet. He is doing well though!)