It has been almost a year since I really started my run journey and while I didn't meet the original goal of running a marathon this year (let's face it, that was not smart), I am one week away from a half marathon. 13.1 miles. When I say one week, I mean that in one week from right this second, I will be done. I will have completed my first half marathon.
So I will repeat myself: Whoa.
|My brother and I after our Thanksgiving 5k.|
So while this is not going to be easy, here are a few things I am going to remind myself of before and during the race:
- Last year, I had done approximately 0 running races in my entire life. Today as I was adding my latest run bib to my collection, I realized I have done 6 races this year. The half is lucky number 7!
- My longest run was 9 miles. Which was a little less than I had been hoping for, but guess what? I ran those 9 miles on a stinking treadmill. If I can run for 2 hours on a treadmill, I can totally do it outside.
- My last 5k, the Lansing Turkeyman Trot on Thanksgiving, was a huge PR for me - 32:52. My first 5k was over 39 minutes and that was from March. My previous PR was 35:26. Either my running has improved tremendously or running closer to sea level is a million times easier than running at 6500 feet in Colorado. Either way, this bodes well for me come next Sunday.
- If I let my legs recover, and I stretch the way I am supposed to, running feels great. Breathing is typically not the problem. And I have a mantra if my legs start to shout: Shut up, legs.
- The race might be harder than I imagined it, but I didn't train as much as I probably could have. Next time, I am going to be more diligent.
- My run form is decent... as long as my elbows don't ride up too far. Goal for this race (besides finishing)? Not to look like a chicken.
- Running is supposed to be fun. Even if it is hard, which I suspect it will be, I need to remember to smile. Running is a little easier with a smile.
- After this half is over, and my legs finally allow me to walk normally again, I'm going to go back to basics (I guess) and do a plan that builds up to a 10k. Running is a work in progress, an art to master. That's what makes it a great hobby.
- I need to run my own race. My OWN race. Even though I have friends there and there will be thousands and thousands of others there, I can't go outside my comfort zone at the start. I need to keep a pace I know I can work with and not worry about who is passing me or who is an hour ahead of me.
- When the race is over? Beer. Beer. Beer.
If you have any advice from your own distance running experiences, please let me know! I'd love to hear it.