Posted by: Ingrid | May 2, 2008

The 13.1 mile journey ends tomorrow

Yesterday I was excited. Today I’m nervous. I’ve packed my bag, being sure to include 1 pair of running shoes, 3 pairs of socks, 1 water bottle holder, 2 pairs of sun glasses, 3 pairs of shorts, 4 tank tops, 2 sports bras, 2 short sleeve shirts, vaseline, sunscreen, 1 gu, 1 bottle gatorade, 2 energy bars, 1 ipod with headphones, 1 gps mileage tracker, and 1 normal stopwatch. Basically I am ready to equip about 3 of me to run the half marathon tomorrow. The key word is indecision. Who says that running only requires a pair of running shoes?

I have to admit to intensely disliking the day before any type of event, even one as low key as the Visalia half marathon. I have all of this pent up energy and can’t go exercise. I just have to drink lots of water and eat good food and try to get some sleep. It’s rather frustrating. This is the part of training where you supposedly fall back on the fitness/running base that you’ve established. The fitness part I’m confident in. The running? Well, taking two and a half weeks off a month ago may have helped my knee but not my confidence.

I’m trying not to play various scenarios out in my head. Will I be okay? Will my sister? Will my knee hurt? How much will we be able to run (we’re neither of us trained as much as we should be and I think we’re both willing to not push it). How long will it take if we only run half and walk the rest? What about eight miles? Can I make it for ten? If I do ten should I aim for the full 13.1? Should we take walking breaks?

Welcome to my head.

Despite the current mental insanity I feel like the journey to my (our) first half marathon has been a good one. I’ve learned more about listening when my body hurts, that ice and stretching are both good things and perhaps stretching should be done not only when I’m injured, that it’s okay to adjust expectations.

Sometimes I feel like talking about something I want (running this event, for example) will ruin whatever it is I want to do, as if the universe at large has some sort of vendetta against me. This time around, true to form, I let myself talk about wanting to run the event, signed up, immediately my knee started hurting, and I had to stop running for a while. But I’m still going to make it to the finish line. I’m still going to run a half-marathon with my sister. It may not be a PR. It may not be the 1:45/1:50 time that I think we’d both be capable of on good training. We may have to walk most of it. But I made it to the end of the process and didn’t quit. And tomorrow I’ll make it to the finish line in however much time it takes. And one day (please let it be soon), I’ll believe that speaking my hopes and dreams and plans out loud won’t make them fall apart.

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