The Road to the Half: The Freakout Begins
My first half marathon is tomorrow and I am sitting here contemplating my final training run this morning. My training plan calls for a fifteen minute “shakeout” run to get the blood flowing to my muscles the day before the race. Some plans call you to do that the morning of, but I’m going to stick with my day before mentality. I don’t know that I can imagine adding any more mileage at all to tomorrow’s total.
I woke up this morning feeling very anxious about it. I don’t know if I am ready. I am not sure what I was thinking when I signed up for this race. It seems impossible from where I am sitting this morning. Sure, I’ve done the training. I missed some of the runs, including the last long 13 miler. Still, I did most of them, including 10, 11, 12 mile runs. I know plenty of people who have entered their first half with less training.
The weather, at least is cooperating. It should be in the fifties still at race start, which is nearly unheard of for this time of year. It will be warm when I finish, but to at least get the first hour in under 60 would be great. And I think most of the run will be below 65, if not all. So that’s a good piece of luck.
I’m worried about time. I don’t know what to expect. Ideally I think I can manage getting in under 3 hours. But I worry because the course is setting a 3 hour and 15 minute time limit, “for the walkers”. Which brings me back to my point. How am I considering doing this when my “run” is nearly the “walk” time limit? Maybe I’m going to do better than I think. If I maintain a 13 minute pace for the most part that would put me in around 2:52. Ugh! I need to stop analyzing the numbers. It will be what it will be. I just don’t want it to be terrible.
I plan on arriving early enough to be able to park on site. This means leaving my house by 5:45am and hopefully arriving by 6:15, two hours before race start. After that, I’ll probably sit in my car for a while, use the porta potties, liberally apply glide and vaseline to all of the usual spots where I have been chafing, and sunscreen which will hopefully not completely sweat off. Before tomorrow I’d like to reorganize my long run play list, lay out all of my clothes (and hopefully figure out which pair of socks will minimize blistering), and get everything I’ll need packed in my usual race bag. I plan on bringing:
- towel for post race mop off and/or possible shower
- dry clothes to change into; the race is at a beach so there are showers. I might even take a full shower, not sure yet.
- running hat
- body glide/vaseline
- water, power bars etc in case there isn’t much food left when I finish near the three hour mark
- phone, earbuds, armband
- race bib and pins
- jacket for early morning pre race temps
I think that’s it.
I won’t have any friends or loved ones waiting for me and cheering me on at this race. I’m a little sad about that since it is such a big milestone for me, but in the end, that’s the way running has always been for me. It’s always really been a solo activity, a me against me challenge. I’ll have to look inward for the strength to finish this one.
Wish me luck.