Those three words sum up my training for this weekend's Rockford Half Marathon. The winter and spring were all about running. Slow miles. Long miles. Tempo miles. Hard miles. Early to bed and early to rise - even on the weekends. I ran more miles in a week than I ever have before. There were workouts during which I felt like my lungs were about to burst or my legs were going to fall off. And plenty of strength training, foam rolling, stretching and ice baths.
I've spent hours, days, weeks and months training for a race that will be over in well under two hours.
And I wouldn't change a thing about any of it.
It's been time consuming and maybe even a tad selfish. But I knew going in that in order to reach the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year, I could pay the price during training or pay the price on race day by being unprepared.
I think my Sparkly Soul headband will bring me good luck :)
I'm ready for a new half marathon PR, and I'm ready to race harder than I ever have before. After I cross the finish line, I want to know I've left all that I have on the course and could not have run even one second faster. I have no doubt I'll encounter a few rough patches along the way, but when they come, I'll remind myself to pay the price just one more time.
My plan for the race is pretty simple. I'll run the first 10 miles at goal race pace. If I'm feeling good at that point, I'll pick up the pace to run the last 5k as fast as possible. If not, I'll stick with my goal race pace and start my kick about a half mile from the finish.
More than anything, I'm just excited to see what I can do during Sunday's race. My outfit is packed, my shoes are laced and I'm ready to give it my all from start to finish.
It's time to find out if it's been worth the price.
Tell me: Have you ever put everything you have into one race? If so, what was the result? Also, what are your running mantras?