Well, it’s here. This is the final countdown to my first half marathon – a 13.1-mile scenic race filled with unbelievably steep hills in the mountains of North Carolina. It’s only 3 days away. And how do I feel? Prepared? Upbeat? Optimistic? Ready to apply all of these weeks of training to what I know will be an ultimate success?
Ha. I wish.
I am TERRIFIED.
I am wondering what the heck I was thinking signing up for this thing! People come from all around to run in this popular race. Real runners. People who have been running for longer than the measly year that I have been running. People who are fast. People who are fit. (People who didn’t just drink a Strawberry Sunkist for breakfast.)
I’m thinking I should have bought this to wear during the race:
Because that’s how I’m feeling right now. Can I really do this? Am I really prepared?
Anyone who has ever trained for a race knows that the last week before the race is what we call “tapering.” No more long runs. No more real “training,” per se. It’s basically just waiting. Yes, you can do a 2 or 3-mile run here and there. But those long runs that prove to yourself that you really do have what it takes to put the time and effort into it that’s required? Yeah, those runs are gone. It’s time to relax. Rebuild. And wait.
That, my friends, is something I am NOT good at.
This waiting is driving me crazy. I feel like I should be out there every day trying to run 13.1 miles to show myself that I can do it. I feel like I should go to the gym during every spare second of my day. I feel like I should only be eating tofu or something. Oh heck, I don’t have a clue what I should be doing. But sitting here waiting just feels…wrong. It goes against my nature. And it’s making me grumpy.
Here’s another shirt I need:
So, yes. It’s a rough week. This can definitely not be chalked up to the finest week of my half marathon training, that’s for sure. My positive mood and my warrior attitude is taking a temporary hiatus. But that’s all it is. Just temporary.
Because I know what will happen Saturday.
Saturday, I will be standing amongst thousands of other runners who have had the same kind of week I’ve had, more or less. Who have also had the ups and downs of training. Who have also, at times, doubted their abilities but yet rose above that doubt and walked to that starting line anyway. Just like I will. I will stand among fellow runners, fellow humans, fellow fighters. And I will do what I didn’t think I would be able to do.
“Tears streamed down my face as I crossed the finish line. I was a new person, a runner.”
This will be me.
I will add a check mark beside the “half marathon” entry on my bucket list. And I will be proud. So very proud.
I am prepared. I am ready.
“Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.”
– Napoleon Hill
You are so ready and you will be awesome! We have all been there and we have all survived and then signed up for another one! You will be the same, I am sure!. Trust your training and just run and enjoy it. Do not put any pressure on yourself other than to finish. Times means nothing this weekend. Save that for another race and just think of this as an automatic PR. Take in the scenery, the sounds and the smells. Talk to strangers and run because you can and because you love it. I can’t wait to read your recap. I am very excited for you!
Thank you so much, Nicole! Very good advice that I will most definitely take to heart. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!
Good luck! From Melbourne, Australia!
I just wanted to let you know how much I’m enjoying your writing- I found you when I was searching running blogs as I’m a new runner myself and totally obsessed. You write so evocatively and thoughtfully, and I often find myself smiling or nodding along to your musings! Best of luck with your half, you’ll smash it! Warm regards, Zoë
Sent from my laundry basket.
Thank you so much for such a sweet comment! I’m honored that I have a reader in Australia. 🙂 Good luck to you with your running…it’s a life changer, as I’m sure you’ve already discovered. So honored to have a fellow runner in another part of the world reading my ramblings. Thank you!