Pre-Race Jitters

Tomorrow morning I’m heading down to Moab, Utah with five girlfriends to run The Other Half on Sunday.

As I mentioned before, this is my first half marathon, and my training hasn’t exactly gone as planned. I’ve been injured for over a month, and my longest run was 9 miles, rather than the 12 I was hoping to build up to. So it’s with some definite nerves that I’m looking forward to Sunday.

On the bright side, that 9-mile long run was also down in Moab, during a super-fun weekend with my parents in September.

And it was beautiful. The red rock just astounds me, similar to the way I felt about the Wasatch mountains when I first moved to Salt Lake. (They were so beautiful I couldn’t take my eyes off of them, and was even afraid I would crash my car on the way home from work because I was so distracted by the scenery!) Well, I don’t think the red rock will make me run into anything on Sunday, but the gorgeous nature I know I’ll be running through makes me very excited for the race, despite my doubts about my fitness.

I’ve watched a few videos of the 2011 race to psych myself up for Sunday. And what I’ve concluded is that 13.1 miles is long! Not that I didn’t know that before, but watching the mile markers roll by in the videos just emphasizes how many of them there are. One video showed lots of runners walking by about mile 10… and I can’t help but think I’ll be among that group.

So what’s my race strategy?

– Start out with the 2:00 pace group (9:09 miles) and stay with them for as long as I can.

– Walk and drink water at every aid station (located every 2 miles).

– Skip the Gu they’re handing out and instead take 2 Shot Bloks each at miles 6 and 10 (plus I’m bringing 2 extras). I’ve cut the Shot Blocks in half to make them easier to chew, and am going to pin this Ziploc bag of them inside of my shorts.

– If I reach a point where my legs, lungs, etc. can’t carry me any further, stop to walk for as long as necessary (but preferably for only a minute or two at a time).

– If my knee is in serious pain or I feel like I might be doing permanent damage to it, drop out of the race at the next aid station.

– Wear a hat and lots of sunscreen!

I’ve promised Nate I won’t hurt myself, so I’m going to do my best to stick to that. As happy as I’ll be if I can jog the whole race, I also hope to have many more decades of running to look forward to, which is much more important than finishing one half marathon. I’m not putting much pressure on myself, because I know I’m injured and can’t do my best. Oh, and I’ve sworn not to race or train hard for the next year so that I can build up a base and not injure myself next time!

We’ll see what Sunday brings!

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