Preparation, planning and perspective.

"The meeting of preparation with opportunity generates the offspring we call luck."

~Tony Robbins~ 

To all the people I know who are competing in races this weekend I wish you good luck and most of all a memorable experience. Take time periodically to enjoy your surroundings and take everything in. You have done the work and put in the miles over the past few months and now the time has come. I would really like to hear from you about your feelings and thoughts that you have before, during and after your events. I will not be racing this weekend but instead getting in another long training run, but I will be thinking of you all while I do it. So, with three weeks to prepare before my half marathon, here is what I am planning.
Besides my scheduled weekday mid distance runs; I plan on eleven miles this weekend, twelve next weekend, and backing off a little the weekend before the race. Since I was not pleased with the first half marathon, I definitely hope this one is a better experience. I do not really have any specific pace I plan to stick to on race day. What I hope to do is find a comfortable pace and maintain it through the course and finish strong (I might even leave my Garmin at home). Not necessarily holding back but trying very hard not to come out too strong in the beginning. I will be out there by myself since my wife has to work and I do not know of anyone else who is running this race. I guess technically I won’t be alone but I will be my own support team, I guess that is good sometimes to go it alone and not have anyone to lean on.
Since I journal my runs I can’t help but notice that something strange has been happening lately. I am getting faster, or maybe I should say less slow. I am sure having two trail races back to back weekends did not hurt to make me stronger. I am glad that I keep track of my distances and pace as well as other aspects of my runs because if I didn't I would think that maybe I was just getting tired and needed to back off. Now I know why I am getting tired, it takes more energy to run a faster pace and to maintain it through the run. I have not been shying away from hills and if I don’t run on a scheduled morning I make sure to get it done in the evening. This allows me more flexibility and variety, and speaking of variety, I need to find some new routes and places to run. Especially with longer and longer runs on the horizon.
The day after the half I will either participate in a Trail Nerds event called the Veteran’s Day 4 miler with my wife or if I am not up to running it I will go and cheer her on. Then I am taking a week off which I wrote “vacation/rest week - do what I want” on my calendar, then the real training begins for the 50K. It will be time to buckle down and ask more of myself than I have ever thought possible. Last weekend after we finished the 7.5 mile trail race my wife and I were talking and she made a comment that really put it all in perspective.  I told her about questioning myself about the 50K and she said “You just have to do what we did today three more times.” Wow, that really made me think about a lot of aspects of this endeavor but I have to admit, this time not all negative. I will definitely continue to pursue trail running. It is one of the best workouts I have ever done and uses muscles that do not get used all the time.  

I finished 3 minutes behind her!


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