It's race week again. This coming Sunday I'll be running my first Half Marathon down in San Antonio TX. I originally joined a training group for this race because running has always been a little daunting for me. I do it because it's the most efficient way to get my exercise - no gear, no equipment, no special playing field, you just put on your shoes and walk out the door. It's also a way for me to be able to eat cheese, which happens to be my favorite food, and not weigh 500 pounds. So I run, and I hate most of it, until now that is.
The theory was that if I joined a training group, and ran a lot, and put in the time to train, and did the long runs, that I would get better. And if I was a better, stronger, maybe a little faster runner, that I might actually start to enjoy it some. And the theory was dead on. I've been training since August, and I've put some serious miles on my shoes with the Saturday long runs. And I've been pushed to run hard, sometimes really hard, on Wednesday Night Track Nights. And the result, after 18 weeks of running four days per week is I'm a lot stronger, and a lot more efficient, and a good bit faster. And most importantly the running doesn't suck anymore. It's fun, I like it, and I actually look forward to it.
So now it's race week. The big day is just 6 days away and it's time to get a plan and set a goal. The goals are easy - I want to finish, and barring some freak accident I will. I want to have fun, and most likely I will, at least a little, and probably a lot. My plan is also pretty simple, I'm going to join one of the official pace groups, and let someone else worry about my pace. I think this highly increases the odds that I'll have fun. It also highly increases the odds that I'll finish in less than 2 and 1/2 hours. I just need to stick with the group and enjoy the crowds and the atmosphere. Simple. Other than that I only need to plan for hydration and nutrition, and that should also be pretty simple - I'll carry my own water, which I've done for all my long runs, and I'll consume two packets of Gu - one at the 1 hour mark, and one at the 2 hour mark. I won't forget to Gu because I get down right surly and mean when my blood sugar levels get too low, so just as soon as I start feeling the slightest pangs of road rage I'll Gu. Simple.
This race will mark another first for me. The very first time I'll have run in a Marathon. I think I've mentioned before, and it's worth repeating - There is nothing more thrilling than doing something for the very first time.
I'll be back next week with a race report. Cheers!