Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Calm Rested Ready: 3 days until 13.1

Source (aka where to buy this for me)
 I'm not quite there, but that's where I'm aiming. Calm. Rested. Ready. Tomorrow, I will run my last 3-4 mile training run wrapping up 12 weeks of preparation for the OCNJ Half Marathon on Sunday.  This will be my second half marathon. On May 15 of this year, I ran 13.1 miles for the first time in my life in the Super Hero Half Marathon. It was hard. I did it, and I was proud. But I wasn't thrilled with my performance or the experience.

This time around, I am more prepared, both mentally and physically. Last time around, I ran 112 miles in the 12 week training period before my race, about half of my training plan. As of tomorrow I will have ran more than 172 miles in the past 12 weeks. That's 60 miles more than last time around! That's an increase of more than 50%! And I can feel it. I am faster. I feel stronger. I am less injured though I still have some pain from a tailor's bunion. I trained harder but also smarter this time around. I am absolutely better prepared.

Things I'm doing differently this time around:

*Running with music in addition to my awesome running coach, supporter, and all-around great friend Kristie. Plus, Paula will be running with us too! I do all of my training runs with music, so it only makes sense to have it available to me if I need to zone out to something other than Kristie's fabulous chatter (love ya girl) at some point.

*Fueling MORE! My plan is take water at every other water stop, knowing I can stop on the one in between if I ever feel I need it. (I will pass a water stop 11 times.) I will also be taking 3 honey stingers every 2 miles to start with a few extra on hand if I feel I need them.

*I will be at the starting line super early come hell or high water, as I refuse to miss the start. I think that messed up my mental game more than I realized in May despite knowing it was all chip-timed. It was about the adrenaline, the crowd, and the ready feeling.

*Being sure I have food and Gatorade ready at the finish. In May, I only got a tiny protein bar at the finish because they were out of other food. It took me days to recover. I've been struggling as it is to recover from my long runs but I know I need more calories both during my runs and immediately following.

*I'm ready to push like I learned to do at my recent 5K. I've ran a half marathon before. I even ran a 13 mile training run this cycle. I know I can run this. Now, it's time for me to race this.

I ran my first half marathon in a painful 2:46:48 which works out to a 12:44 average pace per mile. Two weeks ago, I ran a glorious 13.0 miles on my first full day of vacation in the Outer Banks of North Caroline in 2:31. So I've got big goals. 

Excuse my bad iPhone picture, but this is what I doodled while drawing with my kids today. The first goal not listed was to arrive at the starting line uninjured and trained well. I could certainly have tweaked things but I'm proud of what I've done. The next goal is to finish. Then assuming all goes well, I am determined to run a sub 2:30 race. I need to say assuming all goes well, because a lot can happen in a race and I'm not setting myself up for self-loathing should something not go well. 

At the same time, I have my eyes on a sub 2:25. In the spirit of racing faster than you train and learning to leave it all on the course trusting the training I've done, I think this is possible if conditions are good but it's definitely not a given. It's a reach.

So there you have it. I'm busy pulling together gear and making lists to travel down to my in-laws who are graciously hosting us on Saturday night, and my legs are telling me I need to stretch after a cruddy 3 mile run today. Tapering is no fun!


  1. Rock on! And no worries, I promise I will not sing! My chatter is bad enough :-) I will have my ipod ready if you need to zone. Love ya and I am so excited for Sunday!!!!!


  2. You will do awesome!!! Good luck and most importantly have fun! :)


  3. oops! I may have tried to sing...sorry about that


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