Just a few days left till my first half-marathon! I’m in full-scale nervous energy preparation mode. I’ve broken in my shoes, downloaded tons of new music, planned my warm-up, fueling and hydration, asked people to come cheer me on (or collect my corpse if necessary). I’m pretty sure Neil thinks I’m crazy, as he stayed up late partying the night before his last half.
Food this week has been super clean but random. Sautés with lots of lean meat and sweet potatoes. I’m getting excited, but am super nervous and a little worried. When I signed up for the race, I had in mind the cooler, rainy May weather we had last year. Saturday’s forecasted temperatures are now in the mid-nineties with high UV indexes. It feels like a cruel bait-and-switch, but it’s my own fault. Even though I know it will be cooler in the morning, my low blood pressure makes dizziness, overheating and passing out a very real fear. I want so badly to do well, but I already feel myself slowly conceding that finishing is now my goal instead of the faster pace and times I trained for. I know it probably sounds silly to all of you who are seasoned runners, but I’ve wanted to badly for this race, my first one, to reflect how far I’ve come in the past 9 months.
In any sense, enough of my whining, let’s talk about you! What is your favorite race memory (good or bad — I think even bad experiences make for good story!) or tips for a first-time half-marathoner?
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you’re going to do great!
Thanks! That means so much coming from you!
Best Race Memory….Easy. It was running the St. Louis half marathon 3 years ago. It was the first half that I had done since my knee surgeries (torn Miniscus in each) and I was not only glad to see that I could actually run that long and that my knees could take it, but I beat my goal. Which wasn’t too ambitious. I was running it with my training partner and she ran much slower mile pace them me. My plan was to run the First 5 miles with her at her pace, then the next 5 at my ‘typical’ pace, then use up all my gas in the tank for the last 3.1 miles. I figured doing that I could flirt with the 2:15Mark, but in reality I would be happy with 2:30:00….Heck, I’d be happy just finishing it without injury. Well my plan worked, sort of, we ran the first 5 about :30/mile faster then the planed. then I ran my next 5 about :45/mile faster then planned, and was able to go faster then planned for the end. My time ended up being 2:10:07. I could not have been more happy. The biggest plus after that was the fact that my knees felt great and nothing other then they typical race aches and stiffness.
All I can say is good luck and Run fast!! Stay Hydrated! and frankly, don’t be afraid to walk if you need to, don’t worry about what people will think, remember, you are already doing better then them, you are running in the race! RUN FAST!!!!
Your methodology is exactly what I have planned, ironically with your training partner (I think?). First 5 at a slower than “me” pace, then build speed in the next five, then haul ass in the last three, which fortunately is right through my neighborhood where I’m used to training. Of course, the plan could totally derail, but I would be overjoyed with a 2:15, and totally happy with 2:30 for my first time out.
It’s hard not to have a WOD mentality, especially with the heat though. I know in my head I’m just going to be screaming “faster run, faster done!!”
My favorite race memory is when I did a 5K with some friends. It was one of my friend’s cousin’s first race. The course was basically running to a lake, running along the lake shortly, then buttonhooking and running around the entire lake the opposite direction. At one point (at less than the halfway mark…like 10 minutes in), you go through the finish line the wrong way. My friend’s cousin thought that was the end of the race. He asked someone if it was the finish line, and they said yes. He started walking, looking for the rest of us, and people kept running by him. Eventually he asked someone, “Why are you still running? The race is over!” and she kindly corrected him. Meanwhile, the rest of us are at the finish line, waiting for him, wondering what the heck happened to him. When he finally made it (second to last) and told us what happened, we couldn’t stop laughing. For the record, he thought it was funny too, we weren’t just being mean 😉
I’ve done some really poorly marked 5k’s that ended with me getting lost or not understanding where to go, so I totally feel for him. Nonetheless, it’s an awesome story!
Good luck on the race! Don’t start out too fast (I say this, but I always do it), drink and eat enough, and have fun! As for best race memory… probably hearing “Eye of the Tiger” being blasted in a random neighborhood during the Austin Marathon when I thought I was going to die. It definitely perked me up. 🙂
I was so surprised at how many residents came out in droves to have fun and help us along in whatever way they could. It made it so much more fun!