Alright, I’m gonna be real. I am having a lot of mixed worries about race day for Baltimore 10 Miler.

Let’s back up and put things in perspective. It has been over a year, more like two years, since I have stuck to a training plan this consistently with a goal race. Like has been the kicker for the last, oh, five or six major races I’ve run (RNRDC in 2016, RNR Vegas in 2015, Disneyland Half in 2015, RNR Chicago in 2015, Austin 10/20 in 2015, and RNR Dallas in 2015), my main failure has been consistent strength training. That’s not to say it’s been a 100% failure… more like a 70% failure. Of the 10 weeks of training, I’ve done strength training during 3 of the weeks.

But unlike those race training cycles, I actually have done every run. And almost every scheduled cardio crosstraining. My heart and lungs are in far better shape. My legs *are* stronger because of the hill running I have done. My mind knows I can do 9 miles outside on hills.

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See? Slow, but I did it.

It’s just that I’m really, really slow.

And I know that 1) regaining speed from once being in peak shape takes time and dedication, and 2) part of regaining that speed will be sticking to that strength-training. But still. I have a feeling this will be the slowest 10-miler I’ve ever run.

And I’m worried about race day weather. I am now within the 10 day forecast and though anything can change and it’s too far out to say what time of day they’re calling for it, but they’re calling for rain on race day. I am good with drizzle, that’s fine. I have a couple of solid, lightweight rain jackets to break out if need be. I’m more worried about the mental toll running a hilly 10 miler on a gray, rainy morning will take – especially since that tends to affect crowd support.

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Druid Hill Park in Baltimore, where B10 starts and finishes

The one thing I’m feeling confident will help is running with Team BoMF. It is so cliche but sometimes when I’m tackling a particularly difficult incline when running I listen to Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” (which up til now I wasn’t a fan of because it felt too forced inspirational) and latch onto the phrase “take back my life song.” And that’s what Team BoMF is all about. Running is not just reclaiming my physical health but the confidence to know that I can push through something that feels truly hard. To know I am the kind of person who keeps going even when it gets tough and I want to quit. And with BoMF program participants running the course with me, it will definitely be about taking back my life, and running my own life.

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Image Credit: Back on My Feet Baltimore

I am going to try to get in one last long run outdoors tonight, a Friday, since all weekend I’ll be at a wedding in North Carolina and realistically there’s no way with the tight itinerary I’m on I’ll be able to find a couple of hours to do that. The weather is nice and I get out of work a few hours early so hopefully that should help. And next week I will be sure to get to a 30-minute core strength class, do some light cardio, and run two short 2-3 mile runs, before resting up and carbloading Friday night for race day on Saturday the 3rd.

And I’ll see how it goes. If nothing else, I have put in almost 10 weeks of more training than I’ve put in in a long time. I have done a service to my health by improving my heart health. I’ve lost a couple of pounds and prevented myself from gaining more even considering the emotional dependency I have on food. And those hours and miles I’ve spent training have been hours and miles away from stewing and fretting about the state of the world.

And after the race, when I’m done celebrating over brunch with a dear friend, it’ll be time to set the next goal. I’m running Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon Labor Day weekend in September to be able to say I ran at least one half-marathon during age 28, and I’m signed up for the Army Ten Miler as well, which I am STOKED for as one of my very favorite races not just regionally but ever. And after seeing where my bar is set on June 3rd in Baltimore, I’ll be able to set some realistic improvement goals from there.

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Welcome, summer heat training. Let’s dance.

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