The day is quickly approaching, and yet I feel this sense of peace. This is my second half marathon, not my first. I know what to expect from my body. However, it is a new course, and based on the elevation charts, this race will be a whole new beast. The best part about this race though, is that I’ve already met my goal, and I’m not even at the starting line.
As you all may or may not recall, my goals for this race centered around training. I wanted to do things the right way and build my body up. Alas, I am still not perfect and though this race was a priority, it wasn’t my only one. I got fairly high in mileage (my longest run this time doubled my longest one pre-race the first go around), and my confidence has been built up.
My training was not without setbacks. I suffered an intercostal tear that affected my running for three weeks, and I followed that up with a nice 5 day cold. All in all, I had about a month of minimal exercise. In a 12-14 week preparation timeline, knocking out about a third of it was a huge blow, but quitting has never been in my vocabulary–not with the big things. So I fought back. My pace is not quick, and my mileage could have been farther, but I can honestly say I pushed myself to the brink with my training this time.
This half marathon I don’t need to kill myself for. Did I wish at some point I’d beat my last time? Sure. Of course. But this will likely NOT be that race. I didn’t push for increasing time in my training- I pushed for consistency and mileage. I pushed towards my goal of being able to walk after my half marathon. I’m still plagued by the painful memories of my weeks following my first half marathon. I had plantar fascitis so bad that I could not walk. I was borderline stress fracture in both feet, and my IT band was wound up so tight I thought it would pop! During that first race I felt nothing. I ran on pure adrenaline and guts. This time I run on training. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be sore, but this time around hopefully I’ll still be mobile.
For me it’s best to take things one day at a time. My goals for the race itself are as follows:
To run continuously as far as I can.
To beat an 11minute mile for the first 6 miles.
Notice I make no predictions or desires on a finish time. Hills are generously sprinkled throughout the entire final 7 miles including an uphill finish. I trust myself to finish, and I want to finish safely.Don’t get em wrong, race day morning I will be pushing myself to my limits. I won’t go easy. But I also already won the most important leg of the race.