Only 2 ½ days left to complete my Race to 40! challenge. This will be the final progress update before my birthday this Sunday, the 26th of June.
Progress on Goal 1
Over the course of the 32-day challenge, I have managed to successfully post to my blog each day, so I’m fairly certain I will be able to keep this up for another two days (excluding this post) 🙂
I’ve deviated slightly from my blog topic schedule but not by much. I had to mix up the posts a bit over the last few days to keep the creative juices flowing. I’ve written a piece of flash fiction and a poem over the last two days. While I’ve posted on the flash fiction challenge, I have not actually posted the flash fiction piece on my blog as yet since it’s been entered into a “blind” competition (i.e. my name is not on it) and I don’t want to influence the result by having my friends vote for the piece simply because they are my friends. Next week, whether I win or not, I will post the piece I wrote. If you have not read the post on the challenge, in summary, the challenge was to write a 400-word story that must contain the words: wax, starfruit, and kidney!
Progress on Goal 2
I ran 12 km last Sunday according to the training program that I am following. However, instead of running on my usual sports track (which was closed), I ran along the road. The area where we live in Burnaby is quite hilly so the run included quite a few climbs. The result is that I managed to strain my left gluteus maximus!
With the strain, I did not want to do the short runs this week. So I’ve just been taking it easy all week. Having a tight glute, cutting down on some of the long runs, and not having completed the short runs this week is making me very nervous that the 21.1 km half marathon on Sunday will seem like a long, long way.
Additionally, I have two other physical issues that could be a problem:
- I’ve had serious shoulder pain in my left shoulder for about 3 months. The pain was very similar to the pain I had in February 2015 in my right shoulder which the doctor in Dubai diagnosed as subacromial impingement. The pain is about a 3 out of 10 most of the time, but it’s always there and at night it feels worse (since I have to put weight on the shoulder). I’ve been waiting for an appointment with a specialist here in Canada to get my left shoulder diagnosed and treated. The appointment was scheduled for mid-August but fortunately due to a cancellation my appointment got moved forward. I was able to see the specialist this past Monday and he diagnosed my problem as a frozen shoulder. This is a mysterious condition that thickens the shoulder capsule causing pain and a loss of mobility. Its cause is unknown. There is not much to do by way of treatment though steroid injections into the shoulder capsule can help with the pain. The good news is that the condition goes away as mysteriously as it appears. The bad news is it typically takes about 1.5 to 3 years to go away. I got the steroid injection this morning. My shoulder was a bit sore this afternoon but is feeling better as I write this. I have no idea how it’s going to do over the next couple of days. Fingers crossed that soreness from having fluid injected into my shoulder capsule will pass, and the steroid will start working. A friend joked that I should be banned from the half-marathon for using a steroid 🙂
- Two of my toenails are in bad shape from previous long runs. The pair of shoes I’ve been running in are a bit tight around the toes, so I took a risk and bought a new pair of running shoes last weekend. I did the 12 km run in the new shoes, and while they were better around the toes, I felt they had less cushioning around the heel. I’m confused as to which shoes to use. Neither are perfect. I’m currently leaning towards wearing my old pair of shoes. It’s probably too much of a risk trying to break a new pair of shoes in 1 week from the race. I guess my toes are going to take a pounding, and I may have to sacrifice two toenails to achieve goal number 2.
All in all, I’m almost 100% sure that I can complete the 21 km but to do so at the target pace I have set myself (5:43 min km; completing the race in 2 hours or less) will be the real challenge especially as I have a few niggles.
Sunday is currently forecast to be a bright sunny day. Fortunately, the temperature in the morning will be around 17 degrees Celsius (63 degrees Fahrenheit), but running for 2 hours under the direct sun it will feel a lot hotter.
Progress on Goal 3
I’m going to come out and say it. No point beating around the bush. It looks like I will only partially be able to achieve this goal. My 3rd goal is to complete the novella I am writing, “2030ET: Tribulation”, by my 40th birthday on Sunday. While I am going to push hard for the next 48 hours to complete the writing, I will need to spend sufficient time editing the manuscript. For anyone who has written a substantial work before, editing can take as long as the writing so we are not talking about a day or two here.
I’m going to have to eat humble pie and admit I was overly ambitious in trying to get my novella written, edited, and published before my 40th. I have no regrets that I set this as a target for myself. Setting this stretch goal has made me push hard for a month. If I get the writing done by Sunday, I will be chuffed. The editing will take some time, and I would rather take the time needed to publish a novella that I am proud of than to rush it for the sake of meeting (what is at the end of the day) an arbitrary deadline.
Wish me a productive Saturday and all the best for the big race!