I feel sort of silly writing this post today. On the tail of a wicked Marathon weekend, where so many of my friends absolutely rocked the course and winds in DC at the Marine Corps Marathon (Yeah that’s right Caitlin… I’m lookin’ at you!) and NYC Marathon in under a week now…. My little ole Half Marathon in TWELVE FLIPPING DAYS doesn’t seem so big and bad anymore.. haha.
But, to me.. It is. To me, it is more important than my first half-marathon. Why? My first one was all about finishing. This one, is about proving I can do better. This one, is about shutting up that little voice in my head that says “I can’t” It’s about proving that my life didn’t end when my engagement did. It has just begun. I’m better, stronger, more independent and powerful than ever. This is my life, and I am in complete control of it.
Last week I was all over the place. My emotions were high in the beginning of the week, and toward the end of the week I was seriously freaking out about my hip. I was a mess. Pre-race jitters a few weeks early? Who knows. But I do know one thing. That is all in the past.
I sit here confident today. I have a strategy for this race. Columbia had no strategy. My only goal was to finish and not be in last place. I accomplished both, but still ended up disappointed with the time on the clock. That isn’t going to happen this time.
My goal is to negative split, that way I can start the race at a comfortable pace that I know I can maintain for an extended period of time.. Once I hit the 10k mark I plan to drop the hammer. This way, I don’t push my lactic acid threshold too early in the race and can kick it into overdrive during the second half. I hope to stick near the pace group until toward the end of the race and then leave them in the dust.
I learned during my first half-marathon that essentially, it’s a 10 mile run with a 5k race at the end. Once I get to that final 5k I hope to be feeling good enough to start picking off the runners ahead of me. Using runners up ahead as targets. Increase the effort slightly to gain ground on the competition & to keep from slowing from my goal pace.
Not to the point where I want to hurl before I even make it to mile 12, but enough to push myself. See what exactly I’m really made of. We’ll never know what we’re capable of achieving unless we step outside our comfort zone.
However, once I hit the 13 mile marker, it is GAME OVER. Sure at this point I’ll have been running for over 2 hours and I’ll want to just lay down on the side of the road and call it a day… but, at this point what is another minute or two? I plan on running my little heart out and running so hard my legs want to fall off. Granted, I’m sure they already will at this point.. But again.. that last .1 is nothing compared to what was just accomplished.
Essentially my strategy is to start out slow and steady and gradually increase my pace until the last few miles where I plan to put it all on the table and see what I’m really made of. Will this actually happen? Who knows. If there is one thing I have learned with running, it’s that you never really know whats going to happen on race day until you cross the start line.
However, I have put in the training. I have logged the miles, rested the hip (in fact I’m actually debating running the full 10 miles on my training plan this weekend. I want a fresh hip and giving it extra time to stop throwing a temper tantrum might be the smartest decision.. We’ll see later this week) and the RNR San Antonio course is pretty flat…
I see no reason I shouldn’t be able to blow my goals out of the water.
Believing is half the battle.