Tomorrow I’m headed home to run the Nashville 13.1. I’ve done plenty of half marathons before, but there’s a little more riding on this one. My sights have been set on breaking 1:30 for over a year now and I’m hopeful that Saturday is my time. But, like with many big events, there’s a level of fear, anxiety, and anticipation that I need to address before arriving at the starting line.
There’s nothing really too significant about this race. I’ve had people ask me if it’s the Nashville Women’s or Rock ‘n’ Roll or if benefits St. Jude, but, no. It’s just pretty flat, convenient, and came at a good time in my training schedule. It’s also inaugural so I’m really not sure what to expect.
I don’t think I fully realized where this goal originated until buried deep into my rainy recovery run a couple days ago. The story is funny, but also pretty humiliating and that’s just how I am sometimes-
After college, I worked at Fleet Feet to milk a couple more months in Knoxville before starting my career. The job came with a lot of benefits, but the best was being coached by the owner. When I first started, he asked me for my PR’s in all distances. Not only did it put on the spot, but honestly I had no clue. Up until that summer, I had barely raced since high school and even then, I wasn’t too concerned about my race times. I had done a couple low-key 5k’s, 2 half marathons, and 1 full, and based upon those, I gave a semi-educated guess. Everything sounded fine, but he seemed a little too impressed with my “1:30 half marathon” so I immediately regretted my answer. I tried to cover it up by saying “I don’t know, maybe it was around there, probably slower,” but he proceeded to brag on me for the rest of the summer. I never corrected him, but thought to myself that I had better get there soon before someone outs me.
So here I am a year later with no 1:30 half marathon to show, outing myself for the accidental lie that I never corrected.
You might have picked up in my recent posts that I’ve been battling with a little self-doubt and fear. Where does it come from? I started running in Kindergarten and in all my years, I never once placed in any of my Cross Country meets. I’ve never seen myself as being “built as a runner” and am really not naturally good at it. More recently, I’ve experienced major race-flops, failed attempts, and terrible finishes.
For this race:
- I’m scared that I’ll go out too fast and gas out around mile 10
- but I’m also scared of starting out too slow and not being able to make up for it
- I’m worried that I haven’t done enough speed, hills, or strength
While I do have all these race fears, luckily they aren’t strong enough to bring me down. I truly think that I’m ready to do this. My coach, Chris Winter, has relentlessly been training me to get me to where I need to be. I’ve put in the work, or as Chris says, “the hay is in the barn.” My strength is my strength and my strength comes from The Lord.
Looking back on old workouts reminds me that I’m physically ready to stay on my 6:50 pace.
Never in my life have I trained this hard, but I’m physically ready and I can find reassurance in that.
They say you don’t really need to carb-load before half marathons, but I broke that rule starting Tuesday so I might as well just go with it. Along with eating a ton, I’m trying to rest, stretch, foam roll, and hydrate well. I also said I wasn’t going to blog past 9:00 p.m., but its 9:32 and I haven’t even started editing…
The words “meditate” and “visualization” have always been weird to me, but this is coming from a girl who thinks most yoga is awkward. But, Chris has been encouraging it and it really does help me to close my eyes and take time to visualize everything that could happen during the race and what I can do to be prepared for it.
Before Saturday I’m going to:
- Familiarize myself with the course
- Make a logistical game plan for how I’m getting there
- Check the weather and plan my outfit accordingly
- Get some race nutrition
- Visualize the PR
I respond very well to incentives so I like to always give myself something to look forward to after a race.
- I will “treat” myself to Halloween candy
- My dad will probably open a really nice bottle of wine
- I could maybe convince Mark to give me a recovery calf massage
- I promise myself that the next half I run will be 100% for fun
Some Halloween Pictures:
I have to lighten things up somehow.
I’m so excited for this race. It’s probably my favorite distance and it’s going to be really fun racing in Nashville for the first time since high school. Even if I don’t get the PR I’m looking for, the journey has been great and I will just look forward to the marathon I have in December.
Does anyone else think of what they can look forward to after the race?
What are your pre-race rituals?
Do you get nervous before big races?
What’s your favorite Halloween treat?
What’s your favorite Halloween costume of all time?