Today is the day before my half marathon.
I’m feeling a queasy mix of nervousness and excitement. I’m trying to act like it’s no big deal while simultaneously obsessing about it. I’m being totally overly-dramatic at the same time I’m trying to convince myself to treat it just like any other long run. It’s funny how these kinds of events bring out such an emotional roller coaster in me.
To help focus my thoughts a bit, I decided to write a pre-race letter to myself, and I thought it would be worthwhile to share it with all of you. So here we go.
To Katie, From Katie: A Pre-Half Marathon Letter
First and foremost, take a deep breath. There, that’s better.
I want to give you some advice and encouragement regarding this little 13.1 mile running thing you’ll be doing tomorrow. You might need to read this periodically throughout the day, or perhaps in the morning before you head to the starting line. Maybe you’ll need to read it after the race is over. Either way, I hope I can help you maintain a little perspective.
There are two main points I want to make in this letter:
1. Take your expectations and throw them in the trash.
2. The battle is already won.
Regarding the first point: let’s be honest, this last week of training hasn’t been ideal. You barely slept Wednesday night, and you were sick most of the day on Thursday. Friday you still weren’t feeling 100%. In light of this, I want you to forget any hopes or dreams you may have been harboring about your overall time or pace for this half-marathon. It is your first time running this distance, and your only goal should be to FINISH. Forget the clock. Focus on going at a pace that feels comfortable for your body tomorrow, not worrying if that pace is slower than the one you kept two weeks ago.
I guess what I’m saying is, when you listen to your body and not judge yourself so much, running is FUN. Have FUN tomorrow!
Regarding point #2: You have already accomplished something amazing. The training and dedication you’ve put into this event is nothing to scoff at. During a point in your life that was filled with unknowns, you gave yourself a goal and pursued it doggedly. That effort is a victory in and of itself. So even if something goes horribly wrong tomorrow – even if for some unforeseen reason you cannot cross that finish line – you are already a winner.
Even if you totally wipe out on the slippery streets. Which is quite probable, considering the weather forecast for the morning is filled with this:
The rain doesn’t matter. The clock doesn’t matter. Your attitude is what matters. You’ve worked hard for this; now is the time to enjoy it!
Any last-minute tips for racing in the rain???