Hard to believe this coming Sunday is the You Go Girl! half marathon we’ve been training for all summer.
Remember that goal we had, to turn the 10 mile run in to our new 8 mile, feel good run? We got close enough to meeting that goal that I’m going to go ahead and check it off the list. (Physically we’re capable of completing 10 miles without wanting to die. Mentally, we still dread this distance. So, like I said…close enough.)
And that other goal? The one where we wanted to complete 13.1 miles as if it were just any other Saturday jog?
Yeah. Not gonna happen.
12.4 miles with Carrie (and I use the term ‘with’ loosely, as she started itching to ditch around mile 8, and gave up and DID ditch me at mile 10) has me going in to race day this Sunday feeling a little uneasy. Physically, my body just wanted to be done at mile 11. It wasn’t that I couldn’t keep going, because I did. I just didn’t waaaaant to. And I really, really wanted to see the finish line on race day and think ‘ooh, I could keep going!’. Walking down my street for a cool down last Saturday, I realized I am not going to finish 13 miles feeling stellar. In fact, I will likely drag my tired ass across the finish line, just like I did last year. I will probably want to nap and sleep like the dead by 2 p.m. that afternoon. I need to suck it up and be okay with these things.
Maybe the goal is the problem. I have been known to hold to unrealistic expectations in the past. Maybe you aren’t supposed to finish a half marathon feeling like a million bucks. They call it training for a reason, right? 13.1 miles is not easy, at least not for me. And I’ve been working to fool my body in to thinking that 13.1 is the same as my happy 8, but my brain is not about to be duped.
Or, the hope that I’m still clinging to at least a little bit, is that we trained on harder courses than the race course, so maybe we’ll work that to our advantage on Sunday. Race day adrenaline will be coursing through our veins AND there are no (count them, NO) killer hills to contend with, if memory from last year serves me well. This past Saturday, we tackled the killer hill twice. Without walking. Possibly, this is why my brain started sending ‘Emergency! Abort mission!’ signals to my legs right at mile 11. Maybe with no killer hills, I’ll still be feeling fresh as a daisy at mile 11 on Sunday.
Whatever happens on Sunday, at least I know I prepped as best I could. If Amy and I finish in the same amount of time as last year, so what? (Carrie, I’m assuming, will be long gone before mile 5.) It’s likely the two of us will lapse in to our normal routine of 11-minute miles and plenty of chatter to keep us distracted for at least two hours. One of us will probably feel a little stronger than the other and do some heavy-duty pep talking for the last few miles. (I did this for her at the You Go Girl! last year and she returned the favor at the Wenatchee Half this past April.) We will both want to lapse in to a coma by mid-afternoon, but so what?
We will have just completed 13.1 miles. We will have earned the nap.