It’s here! I have experienced an entire range of emotions today. I’ve been nervous, excited, anxious, afraid, intimidated, inspired, fidgety and calm. I’ve felt confident, underprepared, strong, fit and doubtful. Time passed so slowly but I can’t believe I’m sitting here reflecting on sixteen weeks of training, three years of running “competitively” on the eve of my first St. Jude Half Marathon. Usually I spring for the big boy but decided I would on be half crazy this year.
It’s hard to explain to people how I feel. No, it’s not my first race and yes, I’ve run further and harder races. So what’s the big deal? This particular race has a special place in my heart because it runs through the heart of my home – Memphis. I’ll see neighbors, clients, friends and classmates on the course running and along the course cheering. It was also this very race three years ago that quite possibly changed the scope of my life forever. Nervous because no matter how much you prepare, you never really know how you’ll wake up (sick, sore, to rain, to storms….). Excited because it’s like every other long run except traffic is controlled, the water is placed by someone else and people are cheering you on all the way. Anxious because so much time, energy and effort has gone into the training, and the focus of the past 16 weeks is tomorrow. Afraid I won’t get my goal. Intimidated by the hills, the challenge that is a half-marathon (no matter how many times you’ve run the distance, it’s still a long way!) and the mental focus required. Inspired by the thousands running with me, the few in my running group, the kids we’re running for. Fidgety because I haven’t run or worked out hard since Wednesday. Calm because all that’s left is sleep.
I am confident I will have a good race tomorrow. Despite the weeks of training and successful road races, I feel underprepared. I also feel strength in my legs and my mind. I know I’m fit (it’s my job!) – it’s just convincing the doubtful voices of that tomorrow. Most importantly – I am READY:
Prepared Pack: check!
Pre-Race Pizza: check!
Pizza from Trolley Stop
Outfits for tomorrow (including Gary and iPod with playlist charging): check!
All that’s left is to dream of my success, and then run! Runners, remember it’s not a test, but a celebration of your hardwork and the sport and spirit of running.