Saturday, October 13, 2012

Half-Marathon: tomorrow is the big day!

Wow, after seeming like it would never get here, the past week flew by and now, in just about 24 hours, I'll be lining up to run 13.1 miles.
the route I'll be running
I've felt a bit nervous throughout the week, but not until yesterday did I start feeling truly jumpy. I mean, I'm about to run the longest I ever have by doing two loops of Central Park, which isn't exactly the easiest route for a half-marathon in New York City.

However, as I line up tomorrow, I'm not going to be letting myself stress too much, for a few reasons:

1 - I've prepared for this
Ok, sure, the description of the race notes that it is "tough" and that "some long-race experience and hill training are advisable." But I can do this. I've run in Central Park many, many times. I've worked up my mileage using a steady race plan.

I've done a ton of strength training so my body is strong and can totally handle a few extra miles tomorrow. I got a deep-tissue massage (only $50, courtesy of Gilt City) on Thursday and took an AMAZING relax class at Strala Yoga with Tara Stiles yesterday. Seriously, her class was incredible -- I've never left yoga feeling SO perfectly stretched, relaxed, and happy. It was just what I needed.

I'm also carb-loading today at lunch (probably sushi) and dinner (my pre-long run dinner from last week of sweet potato, kale, and shrimp over quinoa pasta), and I'm doing my already-tested half a bagel and almond butter for breakfast tomorrow. I am ready, I just have to remind myself of this!

2 - Grete's Great Gallop is for a great cause
The Gallop is sponsored by the New York Road Runners in honor of Grete Waitz, a Norwegian marathon runner who won nine New York City Marathons and was decorated with both Olympic and World Championship medals. It's really exciting to me that my first half-marathon will be one created to honor a fantastic female athlete!
Even better, the Gallop is in support of Waitz's charitable foundation, the AKTIV Against Cancer Foundation, which raises funds for cancer prevention and recovery, in addition to promoting physical activity as a way to prevent and aid in the recovery of cancer and other diseases. Running for a great cause should make getting up all the hills in Central park easier.

3 - This is going to be fun
I've been reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, about ultrarunners and an Indian tribe in Mexico, the Tarahumara, who all can run hundreds of miles. You know, those people who run 50, 100, even 200 miles at a time. It strongly makes the case for minimal running shoes (or even those barefoot shoes that look like you dipped your foot in ink). It's a very interesting hypothesis, but what's more interesting to me right now is the emphasis throughout on running happy. McDougall traces a large amount of the success of ultrarunners and the Tarahumara to the joy they derive from running.
This half-marathon is ultimately a celebration of the fact that I could not run 1 mile without stopping 14 months ago when I started exercising, and I am about to run 13.1 miles with hills. I've found something I love doing and I just have to remember that this race is simply me doing something I've discovered that I love.

So let's do this thing! I'm off to pick up my race number at the NYRR headquarters. WOOO!!

No comments:

Post a Comment