Friday, December 2, 2011

Time Flies When Your Training for a Half Marathon

Where did November go? 

Better yet, where did October and November go?  It was just September yesterday! 

Even better yet, where has the week gone?

How is tomorrow already the big day?

Denial, dread, nervousness, anxiousness, excitement...these are the stages of emotion I have felt this week about running my first ever half marathon tomorrow.

Am I prepared?

Physically. Yes. The fartherest I have run is 12 miles, but I know my legs are strong enough to carry me a full 13.1.

Mentally. Yes. I have already decided I will do whatever it takes to finish.  The only thing that could possibly stop me is my own head, and I am not going to let that happen.

Technically. Yes.  My playlist is finalized.  My outfit is packed.  Departure time scheduled.  And pre-race breakfast planned.

Playlist -  It's awesome.  I'm not usually a top 40 fan, unless I'm out clubbing (which happens exactly once a year on Ponkation), but I've included some fun dance music.  So fun, that when I checked to make sure it loaded to my ipod properly, I ended up having an impromtu dance party. Alone. In my kitchen.

Outfit - For some reason, it feels silly calling running clothes an outfit.  Believe me, I'm not worried about being cutesy, but I am worried about being comfortable.  I had assumed (and you know what they say about assuming things) that it would be cold enough for running tights.  My planned outfit was my Under Armour tights with my favorite Nike tempo shorts over them and a short sleeve tech tee under a pullover dri-fit long sleeve top.

That's out the window because as of now it is forcasted to be in the 50's to 60's. This would be shorts and a tee weather, but I am worried about chafing (TMI?).  I considered just slathering myself in as much bodyglide as possible, but on longer runs (over 8 miles), I haven't had too much luck with this method.  I have also had no luck with running capris.  Every pair I own ends ups loose in the waist, sagging in the crotch, and creating a whole new set of issues.  (Those of you who have ever worn panty hose or tights too small know exactly what I'm talking about.)  So last night I went to Academy to try to find some new running capris that will stay up.  After trying on Nikes, Under Armours, and Champions, I opted for the Under Armour.  My favorite cold weather running tights are Under Armour and they are super comfortable.  I cannot believe how much I spent on these pants!!!  When I think of the possiblilities of how I could have spent that money on a cute dress or pair of shoes, it makes me ill. 

My new duds...too bad they didn't come with her legs!  For that price, they should have.

They say you should never wear new gear for a race, so last night I went for a short 2.5 mile dress rehearsal.  All is good in the neighborhood.  These pants may be my new best friends.  But 2.5 miles is no half marathon, so I'll let you know after Saturday.

Breakfast - My stomach has been my worst enemy during training.  I have finally found my most belly befitting breakfast - a smoothie with lots of fresh fruit, a scoop of protein powder, honey, ice, and almond milk.  Oatmeal and breads just don't digest fast enough and sit in my stomach like a rock. Lugging frozen bananas, fresh fruit, protein powder, milk, and a blender to Baton Rouge is a pain in the butt, but not as big of a pain as tummy troubles come race day.

Schedule - packet pick up is either tonight at the expo from 6-9 PM or in the morning starting at 5:45 AM.  We are leaving Lake Charles at 5:30 this evening, so should make it to packet pickup tonight.

Everyone keeps asking me why on Earth I would want to run 13.1 miles.  Truth is, I'm not really sure.  Boredom? Sense of accomplishment?  In attempt to keep off extra holiday pounds?  All of the above?  I don't know.  Hopefully, I will figure out along the 13.1 mile way.

My goal is to finish the race and enjoy the run.  Since it's my first, I have no expectations about time.  I told my entourage to be at the finish line from 9:00 to 9:30.  If I am not back by 9:30, send for help!

Have you ever run a half or full marathon?  Tell me about the first time.  And please, give me any tips you might have.