Pre-Marathon Void of the Unknown
Yup, so as the title states—I have no idea what to expect for this half marathon. Three weeks ago I was walking with a limp. Last week's inside runs were great (9:00 minute mile pace). Last week's outside long run of 11 miles was slow (10:30 minute mile pace) and my achilles was super sore afterwards for about a day. This week's training runs are back to being fast and no tweaked-out achilles. So that means my goal for the race should be....?
I don't do well with unknowns. The typical pre-race anxiety is plenty for me to handle on any day, but not knowing what my plan should be makes it worse. So I'm going to stick with my original goals and graduate step-by-step on race day depending on how it goes.
Finish the race (don't really think I'll have an issue with this, but if it's the only goal I hit then I can say I hit a goal!)
Beat 2010's half marathon time of 2:20.
If I'm really feeling feisty and full of energy and the crowds are going and my achilles isn't hurting, aim for a time of around 2:05.
Can I do it? Here are two mantras I've been using for the past couple of months that really help. (Well, the first one is a mantra, the second one is more of a basic equation that doesn't make my brain hurt.)
Run the mile you're in. It's just one mile. Don't think about the rest right now. Don't think about when you hit the 3 mile mark YOU STILL HAVE TEN POINT ONE TO GO OHHH GOD NOOOO WHYYY I'M INSANE WHO DOES THIS TO THEMSELVES UGGHHH. So that doesn't happen. Just think, "And now I'm on to mile 4, that was fast! Look at me go!"
In a similar vein, I'll be thinking of the race in chunks. Five miles, five miles, and three miles. Three miles, that's nothing. You can do it. Listen to the crowds cheering you on!
I'll be sure to post a race recap here with plenty of details. Until then I'll be hydrating, carbing up and trying (and probably failing) to fall asleep early each night.