Countdown: Half a Handful (of Days)

There’s just about two and a half days left until race day!  I don’t know that I’ve been this excited for a race (besides my first half marathon, which actually wasn’t that exciting in the end because I pretty much shared my enjoyment with myself) since the sectional and state meets of my senior year of high school.  I’m feeling anxious and ready to go, go, go!  I didn’t think I was nervous, but my stomach is doing all those sorts of things it does when I got nervous for music performances in college… so apparently I’m a little nervous!

My runs this week have been mediocre at best, but I’m trying not to stress over it and take the advice I’ve given anyone else.  Relax, the adrenaline will pump you up and you’ll feel great.  Yeah, okay.  That sounds great when I say it to somebody else, but listening to it for my own needs is not helping.

I have everything ready for Sunday besides my bib which I pick up Saturday.  Actually by everything ready, I mean I have three outfits to choose from.  It’s going to be 62 and sunny on Sunday, so I’m going to listen to the “20 degrees” rule even if it means freezing my tush off for 20 minutes before we start.

photo 2 (11)The options we have:

Shorts:

  • Black spandex Nike
  • Purple spandex Nike
  • Black, looser fitting with zip pocket in the back (pro — can hold Gu)

Tops:

  • Black/Pink New Balance tank – drifit fabric, tight but not spandex
  • Blue spandex tank
  • Yellow Under Armour heat gear tank – looser, but very lightweight

I’m planning to wear my Garmin watch and I just bought an iPod Shuffle because I don’t want to wear an armband.  The lesser attire, the better.  This is why I’m leaning towards the purple Nike shorts (love), but then I think “Where will I put my two packets of Gu?” and I still can’t decide on the tank top.  It’s going to be a high of 62 degrees and sunny, so the heat gear likely isn’t necessary.  I just bought the New Balance tank during Diva Night at Fleet Feet, but I’m not concerned with the fact that I haven’t worn it yet.  The blue tank is comfy, but do I really need that much spandex going on?  Besides, if I’m cold maybe the black would retain some heat and keep me warm at the start… which could backfire later in the race?  And then there’s still the Gu situation.  I could always stick it in my bra or pin it to me.  Or just suck it up and wear shorts that have a zipper.  Sigh.  Choosing running clothes is difficult when you have a zillion choices of comfortable clothing you like.

I’ve also been struggling with my racing strategy all day.  Originally my “A” goal that I didn’t think I’d come close to was 1:50 (8 minutes faster than last September), but I am now convinced I can do 1:50 or even faster, so long as I have a good run.  Considering in March I ran the extremely hilly 15k averaging 8:03/mile, and Buffalo’s hills are nothing compared to that (though the last .25 is uphill — damn you, Buffalo!) I should have no issues going below 1:50.  But once I start thinking about that, I feel like I’m getting too cocky and then I’m going to have a terrible race.  Terrible thinking on my part.  I didn’t train much for negative splits, but I want to be sure to not go out too fast.  I think I’ve finally decided on lining up with the 1:50 pace group and sticking around the 8:20/mile to start — if I feel better, I’ll pick it up.  And if the last 5k comes and I’m still feeling good, I’ll really kick it in.  I kind of based my last big distance run (Spring Forward Distance Run 15k) on heart rate and was pretty successful so I”m going to try that again by maintaining a low zone 4 and then aiming for 5 with the last couple of miles to go.

At least one thing I have ready is my playlist.  Like I said earlier, I bought an iPod Shuffle.  I made my playlist strategically so I can play it in order — including Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Can’t Hold Us” four separate times.  That is my ultimate “pump me up” song lately, even if it comes on at work when I’m tired and lagging, I’m instantly energized.  I tried to imagine where I would be in the course and what songs I might need to hear at that specific time, hopefully the strategic planning works for me.

If I don’t have a chance to read any blogs or comments prior to Sunday morning, you should all know that you’ve been incredibly inspiring and supportive.  I appreciate all the well-wishes and can’t wait to share a killer PR, but you’ll probably have to wait until Monday to hear about it (unless you follow me on TwitterGarmin, or now, Daily Mile!)

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Brittany

Just a 20-something homegrown Buffalo sports loving, distance running, gin drinking kind of girl.

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