...because I'm done with this season of training with USAFit! Woohoo, I can't believe it's over - all that is left is our goal race this Sunday. The season runs for 24 weeks, but because the organizer role fell into my lap unexpectedly, I've been in full-on planning mode for a lot longer. I was asked to take on this role a couple of years ago and declined; I really just wanted to concentrate on my running. However, when everything fell apart this spring, I took it on, and surprisingly, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I think - no, I KNOW - that this is due in big part to my coaches, who all were very willing to take on whatever needed to be done; you'd be surprised at all the backstage stuff that needs to happen in order to make a group run comfortable and fun. We had a good time and I think our runners did, too - but I'm not going to lie...it'll be nice to not have to wake up quite so early on Saturday for a while. We're still going to run, but not as early (thank you, winter coolness), and not as far (thank you, off-season).
So, you can see that I had some pretty big distractions going on this season. I think it helped get me out of my anxiety-ridden head for the most part - I'd be making my announcements to our runners, answering any route-related questions, and then boom - we were off and running! In the beginning, we had so many brand-new runners that I was busy keeping an eye on them and how they were doing (and also, I really worried about everyone when they crossed the street...found myself wanting our runners to hold hands and look both ways, which goes to show, once a mom, always a mom). Amy and I usually were the last to start - we'd run together and catch up to some of our slower runners (it was funny how we'd realize they were improving by how much longer it took us to catch them), chat with them for a bit, and then run on...and then we'd be done. Not a lot of stressing over the run, which was nice.
Unfortunately, I injured my hamstring in September, which messed up my training and is still nagging me, even after rest, physical therapy, and easing back into running. A couple of months ago, I didn't know if I'd even be able to make this race; I'm glad to say that I will be at the starting line, although it won't quite be the run I'd anticipated. Having to let go of expectations only bruised my ego a little bit...lucky for me I'm not really a competitive person. And, it's crazy but since both Amy and I relaxed our time/pace expectations (she's been dealing with plantar fasciitis all season), we've ended up having the most fun during our long runs, laughing, chatting with other runners, doing the limbo under a gate, spotting bunnies and deer and squirrels (oh my!) - the miles really seem to fly by.
I've put in the work, but I can't say that I'm really ready, since my longest run this season was only 9 miles (it should have been 12). That said, I am looking forward to the race on Sunday; it's going to be so fun to see our USAFit members complete their journey, especially the first-timers, and I suspect that Amy and I will have quite the adventure ourselves!