Thursday, September 23, 2010

Race Thoughts-Women's Half Marathon

I don't feel like I'm about to "run" a half marathon.

Maybe because I know I'm not going to run the whole time.  I am going into it with a run/walk plan.  I know, in my mind, it's still 13.1 miles.  But, knowing I won't be running the whole time, and knowing there's a very generous time limit (20:00/mile) just makes it seem like it's not that big of a deal.  When I ran/walked ten miles a couple of weeks ago, I did get tired of being out there toward the end....but mainly I think because I was bored with it.  There weren't throngs of people cheering me on.  I wasn't out there with hundreds, okay, thousands, of other women moving toward a common finish line.

I'm excited to be going...but it doesn't feel like I thought it was going to feel.  I'm excited, but not as excited as I was before my first race.  Maybe I'm confusing "excited" with "nervous"?  That's a real possibility.  I was extremely nervous before my first race....heck, I've been extremely nervous before every race I've done.  Until now.  Maybe I will be, but for right now I'm not even the least bit nervous at all.

I think, again, it comes down to expectations.  Before my first race (Wounded Warrior 3K) I had the expectation, maybe I should say the hope that I would run the whole time.  That was my goal....and I did it.  Before my second race (Cookie Dash 5K) I had the hope of running "fast", and not walking.  I didn't quite make the goal of not walking, but I did better than I expected to do as far as time goes.  Before my third race (Steeple Chase 8K) I just wanted to finish and run the whole time...and (other than an about 10 second loss of sanity toward the end, I did just that).  Before my fourth race (Cotton Row 10K) I just wanted to be able to run without hurting myself worse, which I did.  Before my fifth race (Running of the Bulls 5K/1 mile fun run), I had very high expectations/hopes.  I was very disappointed in myself because I really felt like I let myself down by not meeting those expectations....even though I PRed.

I think that's why this time I'm going into this "race" with no expectations or even hopes of what it will be like or what kind of "performance" I'll do.  I think another reason is that I'm going to this race with a big group of very accomplished runners.  I'm, by far, the slowest one of the group.  At the same time, since this race "strongly encourages" walkers (and gives an incredible amount of time to finish the race to prove it), I KNOW I will not even be close to the back of the pack (barring injury of course).  I don't have hopes of middle of the pack, but I "know" I won't be in the bottom fourth.

My goal is to have a good time with friends.  My only hope is to be fully present in the moment and to allow the excitement of the day engulf me, but not swallow me up.  I want to be a part of it, not be a spectator of it.  Does that make sense?  I wish my family would be there to cheer me on...but no doubt there will be a lot of "stand-ins" there who will be cheering!!  It's really cool because my name will be printed on my race bib, so I can "expect" to have someone cheer for me by name!!

By the migraine is still there lurking in the back of my head.  It seems to come and go in waves.  As long as I don't feel sick to my stomach again (like I did Tuesday night), I'm okay.

Thanks for listening to my ramble!!  Come again soon!

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