Can you feel it? Or is it just me? It's floating all around me this week, excitement, energy, race day anticipation. It's under my skin. It's in my blood. It's in every other thought I have. Maybe it's the crisp autumn air, maybe it's the pep in my step that comes from being a few pounds lights, maybe it's just that time of year, whatever the reason, my race day excitement is increasing with each passing hour. It's safe to say I'm even more excited for my second half marathon experience, as now I know what to expect, now I know how incredibly amazing this little 2 hours and some change run will be. I know I have what it takes to truly amaze myself. I know how life changing going the distance can be.
If you don't want to talk running, this ain't the blog for you this week.
This week's work outs have been extra strong, and with one work out remaining until race day, I can't help but look back at how far I've come. This time last year, I had one or two 5ks under my belt. My first 5k last run season, my goal was to run a solid 10 minute miler. That was my goal. I remember being just behind it on my first 5k race day. I could quite catch it. There was a woman running about hundred yards ahead of me. She was larger than me at the time, faster, enjoying the experience, and I remember thinking size ain't got a thing to do with running. You had to have heart, experience, and determination. She was hitting a pace goal we were both aiming towards, I saw her hands go up in the air at mile two, pure joy that comes from hitting your goal. A few seconds later, my ap came on and told me I was running a 10:15, fast for me at the time. I was slightly behind my goal, but still doing something I never imagined I'd be able to do. Seeing the jubilation from the woman just ahead of me, catching the contact high, I knew in that moment I had something magical going for myself. This little running thing, was going to turn into something really great.
I was prepping for my first 10k. My big goal then was to be able to run in a solid 9 minute pace. Once I did that, I wanted to run a whole 5k in an 8:00 minute pace. I ended my race season in early June with a 5k at an 8:45 pace. Something I never ever thought I'd be able to do. Especially not when I began 2012 just hoping to run without needing to walk.
To say I'm missing the race day experience would be an understatement. Like all runners, I love the challenge in putting my best forward on race day. The energy is contagious. It gets me every time. Whether it's a 5k, or the morning of the marathon, seeing all the other crazy people who've spent their weekends, evenings, early mornings, and logging the dreaded treadmill miles preparing for this one day, really only other runners get it. I giggle every time I get crazy looks from non-runners when they ask about training, or Why would you want to run that far?? I giggle because I remember when I thought the same way.
Race Day energy makes all the prep work, all the hard runs, all the early mornings, so very worth it. I feel I've done the best with what I have to prep for this race, a half marathon my first race of the season, who am I? I still have trouble reconciling myself as a runner. Sometimes I still feel like I'm faking it. Running has changed my life, and I love it more each day.
I'm putting the final prep on my half playlist, which I'll share tomorrow. Then Friday, it's a final pep talk. Then we're heading out to the start line. Feet don't fail me now....