And now we come to the finale of this half marathon training tale. I've learned a lot about myself during the course of training and one of the main things is that I love the process much more than I love the actual race. There are some people who really really enjoy racing, and good for them, but it's not my specialty. Somewhere along the way, in the past year, I've found myself with less of a shark-mentality and more of an, "eh?" thought process. It's probably taken some of my own racing edge away, but I've been trying to work to regain that this training cycle.
So, a little bit about how I'm feeling. I'm not ashamed to say that I've had a very bad series of races that I either didn't start (DNS), didn't finish (DNF), or ran even though I was injured. One of my primary goals in this training cycle was to be consistent, focused, and not get too over eager. With the exception of a couple really cold days in January, I felt like my training was all of those things.
I also spent a bunch of time trying to work on my mental game again and bring back my former "shark in the water" racing mentality. I always felt that was one of my strongest suits, and where I lost it, I'm not sure. But, you can bet that I'm going to go into 3M this weekend with the best possible mindset!
So, that brings me to race day: It's looking to be low 60s and raining. Not gonna lie - pretty seriously stoked about these temps and the conditions. I like it wet and humid, much much better than that freezing cold from the weeks prior. I argue (to be seen tomorrow, of course) that I don't gain any large benefit from the weather being ridiculously cold, as some of my friends swear to. I, however, would much prefer a mid-50s start with this beautiful mist that is going to be coming down. So, although some might consider this weather non-ideal, for me, it's the perfect storm. And, regardless, I've set myself to the mindset that I'm going to go out hard and maintain or die. Well not the literal die, but at least #dieonpace. Or... try to. Or you know, fight for it. Really any type of mantra that involves "not giving up before you even start."
Total Weekly "taper" Mileage (40 miles & 30 miles)
Jan 15 - 20
I brought my mileage down to 40 from 50, trying to slow myself from being too eager to keep up the high mileage into race week. This is something that, obviously, as I get more miles under my belt I will get accustomed too, but staying 100% healthy for the race day was my main goal.
I focused instead, this week, on getting my 3x/week strength training classes in - and finally succeeded! It's amazing what happens when you are running less - the amount of time that you can use to do other things! We headed to Houston this week as well, as Paul was racing the Houston Marathon (2:56! Woo!), which meant I had to get a little creative with my miles. But overall, it was a week focused on resting, strength, and getting ready to run fast. No workouts this week for me, just slow and steady miles. It sounds boring, but it's what works for me!
I did feel a bit of residual soreness from the previous Sunday's downhill practice 3M route in my calves and hips and was extra careful to make sure that I was giving myself that rest.
Becky crushing her Houston Half is going to be my inspiration on Sunday. Or at least to be the fastest sister. :)
The final week leading up to 3M is exactly as uneventful as you would imagine. Another dip in mileage (down to 30 miles total, including the race) left me with a lot of free time. To be honest, it couldn't have come at a better time. Paul and I came back from Houston on Monday, so I ran when I got home for a short easy trek around the trail. But after that, a nasty cold front came into Austin and Tuesday became a snow day and most of Wednesday did as well! It's easy to sit still when you don't want to go outside! :) Because of the slow start to my week, the end was even busier, which led me to need a break from running and exercising all together.
I was able to get a massage on Friday night by Beva with Aura Medica Wellness, my go-to for pre-race prep and left feeling springy and loose.
I ran a quick shakeout this morning as well, running to the Austin Convention Center and back to get my packet. It worked out almost perfect that I was able to practice in the temperatures.
So now all that remains is the fun part - setting out my race outfit for tomorrow, prepping my nutrition, going over the race plan, prepping the mantras.
For all those who have helped in some way in this training cycle, I'm wearing a piece of you tomorrow.
- Jess - All black erry-thing because she inspires me to push harder, faster, and be a shark in the water!
- Bre - Black Adidas Boston Boosts to run my heart out in the fastest shoe of all time!
- Becky - Happy Cat is always with me, but he'll carry me to Mile 9 until you're at my side.
- Ginger - Mint-colored compression sleeves to inspire me to never give up and keep trying and to not be afraid to push a bit harder to the finish line.
So here's to a day of come what may! Pushing it the entire time.
And for the mantras: Here's to being AGGRESSIVE AF and CLOSING LIKE A M-Fer.
Let's go! See ya'll out there tomorrow!