What Would You Do?

March 12, 2012 · 42 comments

My North Carolina Saturday was absolutely beeeeyooteeful.

Perfect for my last long run before the Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon this Sunday, right?

Meeehhhhh.

If this is a case of “a bad dress rehearsal foreshadows a great opening night,” I’m golden. I was dehydrated, which (I believe) resulted in some killer calf cramps. THOSE caused this really neat-looking running style I’m sure would make for great video clips. So, my final long run was an 8-mile limp/skip/stretch/high-knee dance that probably made me look like I had fire ants in my pants for a good hour or so.

If you recall, I had big plans for the Shamrock Half (a hopeful sub-1:38 PR). It seemed like the perfect race to finally go “all-out” and see what these legs can do.

“Why on Earth haven’t I gone ‘all-out’ before,” you ask?

I approach all my hobbies the same way: I do them as long as they remain fun. If I don’t enjoy something, what’s the point in doing it? I would be miserable.

Which is why I have run all my races for fun. I get excited about good times and PRs, but I haven’t ever really “set out” or planned to beat my time on a race. Just sitting here thinking about holding myself accountable for my time makes my pulse race and automatically makes it sound less fun to me. The pressure makes it not fun.

Anyway, I was going to really push myself for the first time this Sunday. The Shamrock is my favorite of all the half marathons I’ve run; it’s flat, it’s much less crowded than the Virginia Beach Rock ‘n’ Roll, and it’s got the best after-party of them all. It seemed like the perfect time to push my limits on a familiar, flat, uncrowded course, right?

Welp, then that whole skin cancer thing happened, and immediate surgery was necessary. Not being able to get my stitches sweaty basically eliminated running at a crucial training time. Since I’ve been able to go full throttle, it’s been too late for me to improve my endurance.

Realistically, I know reaching my goal is impossible right now. My long runs lately have been the most difficult I’ve had in years. That time off kindasorta really screwed me.

So, here’s the question: If you were in my place, would you make this the absolute most fun race in the world, stop during the race and drink beer at spectator stands, and pose for fun photo ops? Or would you push yourself anyway and see what happens? I think I know what I’m going to do, but I want to hear what you would do.

…Ya know, since “run today, brag forever” may not be an option this time around. ;)

Regardless, the A-Team is going to have a blasty blast. As always… I’m not stressing about that part.

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