Inhale. Step. Step. Exhale. Step. Step. You can do this. You’ve got it.
That’s the internal monologue I’ve prepared for Saturday, when I’m in the thick of the Savannah Rock ‘n’ Roll half-marathon.
Since September when I began using an app that tracks my runs, these legs have logged more than 150 miles over more than 28 hours to train for this event.
And though I’m grinning thinking about how eager I am to cross the finish line, the process has been far from a breeze.
Two Saturdays ago my plan called for a 10-mile run, and I did all that I could to prepare. Carbs, sleep, hydration — check, check and check.
But about 40 minutes into my run, I noticed a burning sensation in my legs. Shortly after, I realized the shorts I was wearing during that sunny morning run weren’t the same ones I’d worn for all of the seven-, eight- and nine milers I’d previously logged.
Fighting through the burn, I charged forward, tugging my shorts lower to prevent chafing and even pulling them up so the hem didn’t hit my raw skin. Nothing worked, and after fighting the irritation for an hour, I slowed to a walk.
Since I’ve invested a small fortune into moisture-wicking clothes and socks, this is the first time such a problem has reared its ugly head. I wasn’t prepared, and it was incredibly frustrating to know that an accessory — and not a critical body part, like my knees or heart! — was stopping me.
I did not run all 10 miles that day, but I met about eight-and-a-half miles in the 1:40 that I did run. Walking the rest of the way home was about an additional 20 minutes.
But I learned something great: Even when we think we’ve done all we can to prepare, life throws us curveballs.
It’s in those instances that we must get up, dust ourselves off, make adjustments and carry on.
Since that realization, I’ve logged a 10-mile run in 1:56:18 and several shorter jaunts. As for tomorrow, my bag is packed and my pump-up playlist loaded.
Oh, and I’ve added some anti-chafing cream. Time to step up to corral 17 and rock and roll this thing.