I've had so many mixed emotions and thoughts regarding the See Jane Run Austin Half Marathon coming up on Sunday, that I figured I should just get it out on the blog....you know, the blog I totally suck at updating regularly.
I know my training has gone pretty well considering it was all pretty much done during the absolute worst summer ever (and that's not exaggerating). I did a lot of running inside, which is still warm and uncomfortable, but I also did several long runs outside. The only blip in my training that has me a little worried (besides the stupid tendinitis) is the fact that I was sick and unable to do a double digit run for over 2 weeks, first with a stomach virus, and then with a respiratory illness. I had nearly 3 weeks between long runs (although I did have a couple 6 milers in between that I suppose count for something). My mileage was definitely lacking. The good news is that my recent long runs have felt pretty great.
We previewed the course last weekend and it's HILLY. I'm not really all that scared of hills, but I also haven't really trained on any this summer. I know how to tackle them without them totally hurting me and I just need to remember that on race day. The course is also totally ghetto. Absolute bummer on that one. In a city as awesome as Austin, it disappoints me that the race directors could not secure a more scenic route, especially for a women's race. I need to remember while running the race that after 10 miles the scenery improves significantly....winding through a more well-kept neighborhood with a tree canopy, and then into a new neighborhood and park for the finish.
The weather is another bone of contention for me. It won't be particularly hot, certainly not hotter than what I'm used to training in, but I have to admit I was really looking forward to some cooler temps for this. We've had a few recent weekends that have been perfect weather-wise - upper 50s, low 60s, and just really nice. It will start out in the low 70s for this race, but not likely get any hotter, so that's good. Plus there will likely be rain, which is good and bad. Good because it will mean cloud cover and cooling off when the rain pelts us, but bad because it will be humid. We've had some dry conditions lately, so humidity is tough. Thank God for my inhaler.
Conditions aside, I'm just nervous in general. I have not had a great race in a very long time. I have a total mental block on race day. It's just tough for me to believe it's going to be good. I just want to feel strong the entire race, finish time irrelevant. I want to have faith in my training and that I am perfectly capable of duplicating the success of my long runs. If I can finish at 10 minute pace but feel great then that is success. I'd prefer a sub 9:30 pace, but I don't want to totally hurt to get there. My absolute stretch goal? A sub-2 hour finish. But I realize that in warmer, humid, hilly conditions, it would take all I've got to get that goal.
My plan is to start off slow and force myself to keep a slow pace through 2 miles. After that I can let my body do what it wants to and it will naturally speed up. Once I get past about 6 miles the hills get a bit easier overall and I just need to get into a rhythm. Once I hit double digits I can totally push it to the finish. I need to remember this....if I can there's no reason to think I can't pull a 2:03 or a 2:04 comfortably.
The champagne and chocolate at the end are just icing on the cake.