Friday, June 1, 2012

No Fear

So I haven't talked about it much, but I have a half marathon this weekend.  On Sunday, I will be participating in the Galesburg Half Marathon Express.  This will be my second attempt at a half marathon and I have a lot of thoughts running through my brain.

Will I bonk again?
In my first attempt at a half, I did not reach my goal in large part because my in-race nutrition fell apart.  This time I have been training with a fuel belt and I will be wearing it during the race.  I have been using a sport drink that has a significant amount of calories and should avoid any low blood sugars.  But still I have the fear.

Will it be too hot?
On my first half, the weather was almost ideal for a long run.  The temps were around 45 degrees and it was overcast (it rained and hailed after I had finished; I was glad not to be a full marathoner that day!).  On Sunday, it could get as hot as 85 degrees.  That is not a terrible temp, but it is much hotter than my last attempt.  I worry about dehydration.  I know that there will be water on the course, but I am just not good at working that into my races yet.

Will I be able to sleep the night before?
Last time, my mind was racing the morning before the race and I had a terrible night's sleep.  When it got to race time, I felt fine, but I wonder if a little more sleep would not have helped.  Considering that I am writing about how much is on my brain already, I have a feeling that sleep will difficult.

Have I trained enough?
The early part of my training went very well, but the last few weeks I found that I was not getting the miles in that I felt that I needed because family obligations and a lack of motivation got in my way.  My eagerness to follow a training regime wanes as the race gets closer.  I have been able to rest my legs this week, but I wonder if I have rested too much and I won't have the stamina come Sunday.

Have I been loading too many carbs?
I started taking in more cards around Tuesday and have begum to peak today and tomorrow.  Since I don't usually eat too many carbs, I have been getting a bloated feeling.  When you add the lack of exercise in favor of rest, I just feel fat and bloated.  I am carrying a couple of extra pounds over what I weighed at my last half, and I question if it will be a strain on my performance.

What is my goal time?
I want to beat last year's time of 1:51.  I have a safe goal of 1:45, but I would really like to beat 1:41.  I get so worked up about how to run a race to meet these goals.  I plan to go out running slightly less than 8 minute miles.  That may be difficult if I get swept up in the start of the race and my legs feel good from the rest.  However, part of my problem last year was that I went out of the gates way too fast.  I will have to tone it down a bit at the start.  About mile 6 I will begin to evaluate how I feel and hope to pick up the pace until about mile 10.  At that point, after evaluating my body, I hope to really pick it up and finish the race strong.

Will I get a poop out before I start racing?
Pooping is a constant concern of mine.  All too often I have had to stop training runs to find a restroom.  I have to get a good poop out before I start, but if I am nervous I wonder if my body will rebel against me.

As you can see I am very fearful of what this race may hold for me.  I hope to calm my nerves and have a good race.  Honestly, I just want to have a good time!

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