Road2Hope is 10 Days Away, and I’m Afraid I’ve Lost My Pacee
Gather ‘round the fire kids, I have a story to tell. Have I ever told you about Special K? He’s a neighbour of mine, and former running compatriot.
The fall before I was beat senseless by my first Road2Hope half marathon, Special K and I would run 4-5km loops of the neighbourhood and banter on various topics (beer, music, women, movies, etc…you know, the really DEEP stuff). However, after my HM debacle I decided I wanted to kick this (and other) race’s ass and the best way to do it was to train in earnest. Eventually Special K’s run’s with me became fewer and further between, occasionally he’d join me for 4km then I’d drop him off and finish my allotted kms solo, but more and more he was absentee. That was two years ago.
This summer Special K, a few of the neighbours and I were having a few drinks when the subject of running came up in conversation. I slyly implied that I didn’t think Special K could run anymore let alone do the Road2Hope HM with me, to which replied that not only could he complete it, he could do it with only 4 training runs. The game was afoot.
Fast forward to this past Sunday, I had Special K out on what was supposed to be his peak long run before next Sunday’s race. Spirits were up and the pace was nice and slow (or so I thought), we discussed race strategy, conversation paces, etc. when at 6km (almost exactly) he had to stop. His IT band was screaming, and my mind suddenly flashed back to my first marathon where IT band issues forced me into a hobbled run/walk for the final 10km. I showed him a stretch that would help, and few minutes later were back on our way. Keeping the pace exceptionally slow, we talked about injuries etc. as I eyed his stride/foot falls with suspicion. After a few more stops, and a walk up a large hill I made the suggestion of trying a 10:1 run:walk for the race, he seemed receptive to it but the sound of his voice told me that disappointment and embarrassment were foremost in his mind.
It’s now 4 days later and I haven’t heard from him regarding the run, the race, or his injury. My gut is whispering the notion that he’s pulling the chute on the HM, and really I wouldn’t blame him. Who wants to go into a race under prepared, and knowingly subject himself to repeated/acute pain (aside for me, that is…)? Being the overly-prepared boyscout that I am, this leaves me in a predicament: If K drops out, how do I approach this race? I need a plan!
Do I race this HM? – Pushing myself to my limits and possibly imploding in the process?
Or do I Fun Run it? – I can run 21.1km, but can I party for 21.1km?
What do you think I should do? Guts? Glory? Fun? Ease? Let me know what you think in the comments.
Have a good one kids!