With Tobacco Road coming up Sunday, I’ve had pretty important runs over the last two weekends. The first was my longest training run. And the next was a much-needed confidence booster after Sunday #1 destroyed me.

I had planned to run 11 miles last Sunday – two weeks before the race. I was super anxious about it because I wanted it to be perfect. I desperately wanted to find a nice new route with a good stretch of flatness so I could get a feel for what the race would be like. Instead, I’m pretty sure I picked the absolute hilliest route possible. Oops! I started out okay but not knowing what was ahead and finding out it was always more and more hills really wore me down. Plus, my foot did its falling asleep routine and started to hurt to the point that I had to stop and walk a few times.

I was so frustrated and disappointed. I really want to beat my last Tobacco Road time but this run made me feel like I would be lucky to even complete the 13.1 miles.

So this Sunday I set out cautiously. I knew with the race a week away I didn’t want to push too hard but I still wanted to see what I could do. I decided to just run. I didn’t push for a certain pace and I didn’t set a mileage goal. And my run was a thousand times better!

It helped to have new music this time. I used the songs on my phone and the Pace DJ app to keep them all within a certain bpm. I really enjoyed being out in the sun and spring weather with my favorite songs playing in my ears.

As usual with me and technology, the app backfired on me at the end of my run. I was deciding whether or not to put in another quarter-mile when the song changed. Only it wasn’t so much a song as it was a whole lot of noise. Like every song on my phone playing on top of each other. It was a music explosion! I had to pull my phone out of the case and fully shut down the app to make it stop. So I stopped running. (PS – I contacted Pace DJ about this and they quickly responded and haven’t heard of this bug before, so probably it’s just me!)

Even with that hiccup, this run made me feel way better about myself. I am still not confident that I’ll be able to pull off my under two-hour goal, but I’ll give it my best! And, of course, now I have the added stress of wondering when and if the next music explosion will take place.

This week I’m aiming to get in one or two more short easy runs. I’m also going to focus on drinking tons of water, eating carbs (although I suppose less cupcakes and more potatoes and veggies), and doing a bunch of stretching. And obsessing over the weather, the time change, the differences in my 2014-2016 training, what to wear, what to eat, and everything else. I know, I can’t do anything about past training or the weather and that stress isn’t good and I should relax. But I know me and obsess is what I will do even if it isn’t what I should do.

Gotta go check my weather app now! Stay tuned for the tale of the third Sunday with my Tobacco Road wrap up!!