To Katie, From Katie

By Katie, 8:57 am

Today is the day before my half marathon. 8-O

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

Dear Katie,

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! 8-)

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???

23 Responses to “To Katie, From Katie”

  1. Hello! I just found your blog and I am absolutely loving it! You are very inspiring with your running. I struggle with running and will be doing my first 5k next week and am scared to death! You now have a new follower!


    • Katie says:

      Thank you for your encouraging comment! And congratulations on doing your first 5K!!! I bet you’re going to be HOOKED on running races afterward! :)

  2. Hey Katie! Good luck tomorrow!!! Of course it’s normal to be nervous, but you’ve come SO FAR! Think about all you have accomplished in a relatively short time. :)

    I love the letter you wrote to yourself — you’re very wise. :) When I ran my first half earlier this month I really tried not to focus on the time in the beginning. I had my watch, but I didn’t really look at it for the first half — focusing instead on how I FELT. If I wanted to let my pace drop going up a hill, I did it. On the other hand, if I was feeling great and wanted to cruise down a hill or through a particular section, I let my body take off. It’s amazing what you can do when you really just focus on listening to your body. And having fun. :) This is the first of maybe many half marathons. So just try to enjoy the experience as much as you can. :)

    Also, in terms of the weather — I’m sorry you had to run one long race in scorching sun and now another in the rain! My only tips would be to wear a cap to keep the water out of your face and wear comfortable clothes that won’t ride up too much when they’re wet…or become see-through haha

    You are a winner for sure! Have an awesome time! Can’t wait to hear all about it!!

    • Katie says:

      Thanks for all of your wonderful advice! I’ve actually never run in a hat before, but I have one I’m planning on breaking out tomorrow – I think it will make a big difference with the rain. Thanks for the tip! :)

  3. Jen says:

    Good luck!!! Have fun!!!!

  4. christina says:

    i love the letter to yourself. you will do great. good luck on the race :) :) RUN SISTER RUN!

  5. i need to write a letter to myself when i do the half in october! what a great way to calm ur nerves and to tell ur thoughts and brain that this is not a competition and that ur fully aware of ur body and trust it. <3 BEAUTIFUL! thanx for sharing!!

  6. Christina says:

    Good luck on your first half. I hope it all goes well for you. Remember to pause and look around as you stand anxiously at the starting line. Remember to take in all of the sights and sounds. I hope you have a truly amazing experience. Best of luck!

  7. Lauren says:

    Girl, you are going to be amazing tomorrow!!!! I relate to the nerves though, its exciting, scary and exhilarating all at the same time. Enjoy today and tomorrow at this time, you will be on cloud nine!!!

    Good luck!!

  8. Tina says:

    Good luck! You will do awesome. And like you said…you are already a winner. :)

  9. sophia says:

    KATIE! I’m so glad I caught up with your blog in time…BEST OF LUCK tomorrow! I hope the weather fares super, and that you enjoy each moment of it…and yes, you have already won this battle! Go get your “medal”! :-)

  10. Good luck, Katie!! You are absolutely already a winner, too.

  11. Good luck, good luck, GOOD LUCK!!!! You’ll do great!! I’m so anxious to hear how it goes.

  12. Mo says:

    Good luck!! :)

  13. Holly says:

    I love your letter. :-) You will appreciate looking back on that, too!

    Good luck in your 1/2, and have fun!! You will do awesome – you are definitely ready. I pray you don’t have rain, but if you do, I hope it doesn’t rain hard for you! My one tip would be to wear some kind of jacket (maybe an old one you can throw away 1/2 way if it bogs you down?) and maybe a hat? (I wear contacts so running in the rain messes them up!)

    Have a great time and I can’t wait to see how it all goes!

  14. Josie says:

    here’s sending the best of vibes in your direction!

  15. Sarah says:

    Good luck and enjoy! I love your letter. I might have to do the same thing for myself next weekend.

  16. Good luck! You are going to do amazing!!!

  17. Elina says:

    Racing in the rain is no biggie. It may actually feel good since you’ll be a sweaty mess anyway. I think you “said to yourself” all the right things – don’t worry about pace, try to smile, remind yourself of why you’re doing it – you are strong and amazing. Trust your training. The past few days don’t matter. Also, please don’t forget that a half marathon is an extremely challenging race. If for some crazy reason you are unable to finish, or you have to take walking breaks, it’s okay. Good luck!!!! Can’t wait for your recap :)

  18. I love that letter to yourself. It’s great that you really recognize all the work that goes into training and that you appreciate your body for what it is able to do! Best of luck…can’t wait to hear about how it went!

  19. Simply Life says:

    Great advice to give to yourself…HAVE FUN and enjoy the race and the day!

  20. Good luck today! I am confident that you did a great job and hope that you had fun! That is a great letter to yourself and regardless of what happens, you really do have something to be proud of.

  21. Good luck mama! Rock it : )

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