Road to my first half marathon – Final preparations

After last week’s unfortunate ankle sprain there hasn’t been much running. Walking was difficult, painful and let to swelling which meant I was redoing my shoe laces multiple times a day to limit the added pressure. While I was resting and trying to not damage my ankle any further I kept thinking, what if this race is also not going to happen? After my half marathon in Eindhoven turned into a 10K race and the Groot uit Schoorl race got cancelled due to a storm I wasn’t really feeling lucky with races. Maybe this just wasn’t meant to be? But I worked so hard! I did all the training and then some. I know I can run a half marathon, just let me do it!

Fortunately the pain and swelling got less and less each day and last Wednesday I was finally able to go for my first run in 1,5 week. Maybe there’s still hope!

Easy run

My physical therapist has given me the green light to go for a short run. I can walk without issues, I feel ready for the next step. The goal is to try it, don’t force anything and just see how it feels. I have already decided that if I’m going to do this race, it will be while wearing my ankle brace. It’s the only reason I think going for a run today is sensible, because I’ll have my brace to keep my ankle safe. Since I haven’t ran with the brace for over a year, it seems to be missing. It’s 6:00 in the morning and I’m turning my house upside down searching for it. It can’t be gone, I’ve seen it recently. Kind of recently. I have no idea when I last saw it or used it. Great.

I picked out the sturdiest running socks I could find and off I went. Uncertain and maybe a little unstable, but happy to go out for a run! I stick to the smoothest bike lane I can think of and I run at an easy pace for 30 minutes. Pain free, but a little scared. I definitely need to find that brace. When I take my sock off, my ankle is more swollen as I’m comfortable with, but it’s not really painful. Maybe a little sore. I’m calling this a small success, but I’m not convinced just yet. 

Goal pace run

For the last days I’ve been thinking about my half marathon race and how I’m going to be able to finish it. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Jeff Galloway’s run-walk-run method and I’ve decided to give it a try. I researched different run/walk ratios and I’m probably not understanding his logic completely, but that’s okay. I’ve made some calculations and I think with a 5 minute run, 30 second walk ratio I will be okay. Sunday’s race has a generous cut-off time at 3,5 hours and with an original time goal of 2:45, this should be manageable. Today’s run is about testing this ratio with the goal pace I plan for the race. 

I set up the run/walk alert on my watch and turned auto-lap per 1K on to be able to see my average pace. The first 5 minutes I run at an easy pace to warm-up, then I slow down to walk, remember I have to be fast-walking and speed-up a little again. After that I speed up towards goal pace, but according to my watch I’m running below 6:00 min/km. That can’t be right. I slow down anyway and finally my watch and me agree on a pace. I manage the running parts at an average pace of 7:30 min/km that including walk-breaks turns out at about 7:40 min/km. Good enough for me. I try to practice smooth transitions between running and walking, but it probably just looks funny. 


My morning runs have been completely in the dark for months now, but during my runs this week I noticed the sky brightening. Is it really time for mid-run sunrises already? I love this time of year. A morning run combined with a beautiful sunrise can put a big smile on my face. Not so much this week though, it was too cloudy for a nice sunrise, but it’s something to look forward to!

Summary
As I’m writing this it’s Friday night and just about 1,5 days before the start of my race. I’ve seen my physical therapist who basically said the ankle looks good, so good luck on your race. I had prepared a whole speech to convince him, but I didn’t need it. My last run this morning gave me a great confidence boost and didn’t give me any pain during or after my run. As I wrote on my Instagram: I’m going to do this half marathon, I’m going to finish it and I’m going to kick its behind!! 

Curious about my result? Follow me on Instagram or Facebook where I’ll be sharing my results on Sunday! 

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